Congress passes bill targeting use of human shields by Israels enemies

Congress passes bill targeting use of human shields by Israel's enemies

A BOY WATCHES Hamas members gather in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis earlier this month ahead of commemorations marking the 30th anniversary of the group’s founding..
(photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)

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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed legislation targeting individuals responsible for Hamas and Hezbollah’s use of human shields as a war tactic in their battles with Israel.

Its passage follows approval of the bill in the Senate. The legislation, titled the Sanctioning of the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, now goes to the president’s desk for his signature.

Two of the nation’s largest Israel advocacy groups– the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Christians United for Israel (CUFI)– pushed for the legislation, which imposed sanctions on members of terrorist groups or foreign state actors deemed culpable in the use of civilians to deliberately cause casualties.

“This is the first time Congress has taken legislative action against this heinous practice,” AIPAC said in a statement. “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.”

The legislation was drafted jointly by Democrats and Republicans and passed with bipartisan support.

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