Rep. Zeldin Pushes Legislation to Rollback Hezbollah’s Influence Over Lebanese Military
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, reintroduced the Countering Hizballah in Lebanon’s Military Act. The legislation takes concrete steps to break Hezbollah’s ties to the Lebanese military by withholding 20 percent of US security assistance funds until the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) takes effective actions to limit or expel Hezbollah-influenced military personnel, fulfill United Nations Security Council resolution 1701 by disarming Hezbollah, and cease all cooperation and partnerships with Hezbollah for at least one year.
United Nations Security Council resolution 1701 calls upon the Lebanese government and LAF to prevent armed groups like Hezbollah from operating in South Lebanon. In December 2018, Israel uncovered six sophisticated cross-border tunnels built by Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon, which included stairs, a rail system and wide passageways allowing for the movement of equipment and forces, intended to cause substantial harm to Israeli civilians by enabling terrorists to sneak across the border and carry out attacks.
“Hezbollah is a designated terrorist organization and Iranian proxy, and its continued power and influence over the Lebanese Armed Forces presents a constant threat to Israel,” said Congressman Zeldin. “Until the Lebanese military makes real and sustained efforts to rid itself of Hezbollah’s corrosive influence, the United States should not be diverting taxpayer dollars to the LAF, which will end up in the hands of a terror group that directly threatens our strongest ally.”
The bill’s original cosponsors include Reps. Doug LaMalfa (R, CA-1), Ralph Norman (R, SC-5) and Vicky Hartzler (R, MO-4).