Congress backs bill targeting Hamas and Hezbollah for using human shields


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would target for sanctions Hezbollah and Hamas for using civilians as human shields, guaranteeing that it will become law.

“This critical and timely legislation mandates new sanctions against Hamas, Hezbollah and foreign state agencies that use civilians as human shields or provide support to those doing so,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said in a statement Tuesday after the House passed the bill. The Senate passed the measure in October.

The bill calls Hezbollah, the terrorist Lebanese militia, and Hamas, the terrorist group controlling the Gaza Strip, as “repeated” practitioners of an action that violates international law. It notes reports that Hezbollah is concealing missiles in villages in Lebanon and that Hamas routinely launches missiles at Israel from densely populated areas.

The bill, which had bipartisan backing, now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

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