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Sens. Cruz, Donnelly’s Bipartisan Bill Imposing Sanctions on Those Who Use Civilians as Human Shields and Their Enablers Passes Senate

October 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) today applauded the Senate for unanimously passing their bipartisan bill, which imposes sanctions on those who use civilians as human shields, including terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as their enablers. The bill was co-sponsored by 50 other senators. 

“I commend the Senate for unanimously passing our bipartisan bill,” Sen. Cruz said. “Terrorist groups, including Iranian proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah, have made the use of human shields a routine tactic. This bill signals to the rest of the world that America will hold accountable anyone who uses civilians as shields to achieve military ends, as well as their enablers. I encourage the House to come together and pass our bill as soon as possible.”

Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “I’m proud the Senate has passed my bipartisan legislation, introduced with Senator Cruz, that would impose sanctions on those responsible for the use of human shields. The use of human shields is barbaric and illegal, and terrorist groups – including Hamas and Hezbollah – must be held responsible when they engage in this reprehensible practice.” 

In July, Sens. Cruz and Donnelly introduced the STOP Using Human Shields Act

In 2014, Sen. Cruz led a bipartisan, bicameral resolution that unanimously passed Congress condemning Hamas for using human shields and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself.

The full text of the bill may be viewed here. The Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act would:

  • Require the President to identify and impose sanctions on each foreign person who is a member of or acting on behalf of Hezbollah and Hamas who knowingly orders, controls, or otherwise directs the use of civilians protected as such by the law of war to shield military objectives from attack, as well as each foreign person, agency, or instrumentality of a foreign state that knowingly and materially supports, orders, controls, directs, or otherwise engages in such actions; and
  • Give the President authority to identify and impose sanctions on each foreign person who knowingly orders, controls, or otherwise directs the use of civilians protected as such by the law of war to shield military objectives from attack. 

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