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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Congress Targets Hamas, Hezbollah for Use of Human Shields

In this July 18, 2014 file photo, smoke trails behind multiple missiles fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip. Two weeks after the end of the Gaza war, there is growing evidence that Hamas militants used residential areas as cover for launching rockets at Israel, at least at times. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

AIPAC commends the U.S. House of Representatives for adopting the Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act (H.R. 3342). 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. 

This is the first time Congress has taken legislative action against this heinous practice.

The importance of this legislation is underscored by the recent discovery of Hezbollah terror tunnels into Israel that originated under the cover of civilian houses in Lebanon. And just weeks ago – using the cover of civilian populations in Gaza – Hamas fired more than 500 rockets at communities across southern Israel.

Hamas and Hezbollah are clearly and blatantly violating international law and endangering innocents by placing their terrorist infrastructure among civilian populations. The legislation imposes sanctions on members of terrorist organizations or agents of a foreign state that the president has determined knowingly encouraged, supported, ordered, controlled or has otherwise been complicit in any attempt to use civilians or protected property to deliberately cause casualties or shield lawful targets from attack.

In October, the Senate adopted this important legislation. It now goes to the president for his signature.

AIPAC appreciates the leadership of Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and  Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Bob Corker (R-TN) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

Type: Press Release