WASHINGTON (JTA) — A congressional committee convened on Thursday consider enhancing sanctions targeting Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group and Iranian ally.
House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce said the 2015 Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act was a good start, but needed enhancement as Hezbollah still remained a threat to Israel.
“Part II of this legislation is coming,” he said in his opening remarks. “But unfortunately that’s of little comfort to Israelis staring down an arsenal of rockets that sit just across the border in Lebanon, or the Syrians being slaughtered at the hands of these terrorists.”
Witnesses counseled, among other measures, expanding existing sanctions on financial institutions connected to Hezbollah to include “secondary” sanctions, targeting entities that deal with the sanctioned institutions.
David Asher, a finance expert testifying on behalf of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, described the reach of Hezbollah’s alleged criminal enterprises, which he said funds its terrorist activities.
“Hezbollah, partnered with Latin American cartels and paramilitary partners, is now one of the largest exporters of narcotics from South and Central America to West Africa into Europe and is perhaps the world’s largest money laundering organization,” he testified.