Lawmakers to Clinton: Urge Hezbollah disarmament

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seeking a push toward the disarmament of Hezbollah.

Thirty-one members of the House of Representatives, led by Reps. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), sent a letter Dec. 3 to Clinton calling on the Obama administration to work toward disarming the terrorist group and clearing southern Lebanon of Iranian-sent weapons.

The group asked Clinton to ensure greater accountability from the United Nations in enforcing Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah. The resolution calls for the disarmament of Hezbollah, more U.N. troops in southern Lebanon and the deployment of Lebanese soldiers there.

Hezbollah has rearmed since the war with Israel, when Israeli forces cleared southern Lebanon of Hezbollah’s Iranian weapon cache, according to news reports.

“In light of the clear violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions, we ask what actions the Administration is taking to ensure the U.N. addresses these violations,” the letter said. “We must seek to support stronger multilateral efforts to disarm Hezbollah and clear Southern Lebanon of Iranian weapons.”

The letter notes that the Obama administration has requested more than $200 million for UNIFIL and $100 million in military assistance for the government of Lebanon.

"For that much money," it said, "American taxpayers deserve to see results."

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