Luria introduces bill to combat Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanese military
Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) this week introduced the Strategic Lebanon Security Reporting Act, a bipartisan bill aimed at pressuring the Lebanese government to disarm paramilitary groups within its borders, including Hezbollah — a terrorist organization — and Iranian proxy militia.
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1) joined Luria in introducing the measure.
According to recent reports, Hezbollah and Hamas have coordinated terroristic activities against Israel in Gaza in May. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 calls on the Lebanese government to disarm all paramilitary groups in the country, including Hezbollah, so only the Lebanese state had weapons.
Lebanon has not been able to fulfill this resolution, as Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of 150,000 rockets and missiles – all aimed at Israel – while spending millions of dollars developing underground tunnels that also pose a lethal risk to innocent civilians.
Hezbollah continues exploiting challenges plaguing Lebanon, including daily blackouts, fuel shortages, and a deep-seated civic crisis.
The Strategic Lebanon Security Reporting Act requires the Department of State to put together a strategy that improves Lebanon’s ability to implement Resolution 1701, encourages Lebanon’s cooperation with international peacekeeping missions on the border of Israel and Lebanon, and utilizes U.S.-Lebanon diplomatic engagement to prevent the building of cross-border tunnels into Israel and weapons factories inside Lebanon.
“Having been to the Israeli-Lebanese border, I’ve seen the rockets aimed at Israel and I understand the importance of curbing Hezbollah’s presence and impact in Lebanon,” Luria said. “Hezbollah will not stop their pursuit of destroying Israel. I introduced this bill to strengthen the international effort to prevent Hezbollah and other terrorist paramilitary groups within Lebanon’s borders from freely amassing arms and posing significant security risks to our closest Middle East allies.”
“Like Hamas, Hezbollah is an Iranian proxy that is an imminent and constant threat to our greatest ally in the region, Israel. The United States cannot sit idly by as Hezbollah continues to exert influence within the Lebanese Armed Forces and amass military resources as it seeks to destroy Israel. We must make it clear to our allies and adversaries in the Middle East and throughout the world that the US stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel and considers its safety a top international priority,” Zeldin said.