Monday, July 15, 2019

Congresswoman Elaine Luria: House-Passed Defense Bill Includes Bipartisan Effort to Investigate Influence of Hezbollah on Lebanese Armed Forces

July 15, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON – A strong advocate of the U.S.-Israel alliance, Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) today announced House passage of a bipartisan amendment as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require an investigation of Hezbollah's influence on the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).

"We should continue to closely monitor and track the actions of governments that partner with terrorist groups and threaten Israel – easily America's strongest ally in the Middle East," Congresswoman Luria said. "Having visited the border of Israel and Lebanon, I recognize the gravity of this situation and I am glad my House colleagues moved this amendment forward."

The amendment, sponsored by Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-01) and cosponsored by Congresswoman Luria, would require the administration to submit a comprehensive report to Congress describing the extent of Hezbollah's influence over the LAF. This report would identify LAF military personnel who are susceptible to influence by Hezbollah. In addition, the report would describe military activities conducted by LAF to disarm Hezbollah pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.

Earlier this year, Congresswoman Luria and Congressman Zeldin worked together to introduce bipartisan legislation that would withhold 20 percent of U.S. foreign assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) until the LAF limits Hezbollah's military influence through the appointment of key military officers.