U.S bill seeks to prohibit all banking operations in areas under Hezbollah’s control

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Source: Annahar –Georgi Azar

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., center, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT: A #U.S congressman introduced Thursday a bill to prohibit banking operations in areas that fall “under the terrorist organization’s control.”

“This bill represents the toughest sanctions on #Hezbollah ever proposed by Congress,” Congressman Joe Wilson said in a statement.

The areas would be designated under the discretion of the U.S President, but would most likely include “South Lebanon and Latin America.”

To become law, the bill should pass the Senate and House before making its way to President Donald Trump’s office for his signature.
Wilson, Ranking Member of the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee introduced ‘H.R. 8445 The Hezbollah Money Laundering Prevention Act of 2020.’

“By cutting off banks in areas under the terror group’s control from the international financial system, this bill will go a long way towards drying up the Iranian terror proxy’s resources to conduct murderous attacks against the #U.S. and our allies,” he said.

This bill, he argued, “will make it much harder for Hezbollah to do Iran’s bidding in propping up the criminal Assad regime, the Houthis in Yemen, and continue to destabilize the Middle East,” he added.

Hezbollah was first designated by the U.S as a terrorist organization in 1995 and the western power has been adamant that no differentiation should be made between its political and military wing.

The European Union put the armed wing of Hezbollah on its terrorism blacklist in 2013, due to Hezbollah’s alleged role in blowing up an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria. But unlike the United States, European countries had until now differentiated between the group’s military and political wings.

Germany, the U.K and Holland have all broken rank in recent years, designating the entire group as a terrorist group and banning all its activities.

 

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