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US House moves to block Hezbollah funding

US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Congressman Ed Royce gestures during a meeting in Manila on January 29, 2013US lawmakers voted Tuesday to thwart efforts to fund Hezbollah by punishing banks and other financial organizations that help the funneling of money to the Lebanese Shiite militant group. The House of Representatives voted unanimously to broaden financial sector sanctions on Hezbollah and allow the US Treasury more power to “relentlessly” pursue foreign banks, including central banks, that do business with the group that Washington designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1995. The Senate would need to pass the legislation before President Barack Obama signs it into law. “This bill builds on the existing sanctions regime by placing Hezbollah’s sources of financing under additional scrutiny, particularly those resources outside of Lebanon,” House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce said shortly before the vote.

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