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House passes bill expanding Hezbollah sanctions

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that would target banks that deal with the terrorist group Hezbollah.

The legislation passed Tuesday, initiated by Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), expands sanctions already in place due to Hezbollah’s designation as terrorist group to target financial institutions that do business with Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon.

It also targets Hezbollah’s media affiliate, Al-Manar, and requires periodic government reporting on Hezbollah’s alleged dealings in drugs and blood diamonds.

The bill, introduced in April, was fast-tracked with the support of House Foreign Affairs Committee leaders, Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat.

“This important legislation will result in fewer resources falling into the hands of Hezbollah terrorists who have shown great resilience in attacking Western targets, in addition to their destabilizing efforts in the Middle East,” Schneider said after its passage.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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