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Congress & the Middle East: Senate Resolution Condeming Hezbollah and Hamas

(July 18, 2006)

In July 2006, the Senate passed S.Res.534, condemning Hezbollah and Hamas and their state sponsors and supporting Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense. The motion was passed in response to the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas terrorists in Gaza and the attack on an IDF patrol by Hezbollah terrorists on the Israel-Lebanon border.

S.Res. 534


Condemning Hezbollah and Hamas and their state sponsors and supporting Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense.

Whereas Israel fully complied with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (adopted March 19, 1978) by completely withdrawing its forces from Lebanon, as certified by the United Nations Security Council and affirmed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on June 16, 2000, when he said, `Israel has withdrawn from [Lebanon] in full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425.';

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (adopted September 2, 2004) calls for the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces and the dismantlement of all independent militias in Lebanon;

Whereas despite Resolution 1559, the terrorist organization Hezbollah remains active in Lebanon and has amassed thousands of rockets aimed at northern Israel;

Whereas the Government of Lebanon, which includes representatives of Hezbollah, has done little to dismantle Hezbollah forces or to exert its authority and control throughout all geographic regions of Lebanon;

Whereas Hezbollah receives financial, military, and political support from Syria and Iran;

Whereas the United States has enacted several laws, including the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 2151 note) and the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note), that call for the imposition of sanctions on Syria and Iran for, among other things, their support for terrorism and terrorist organizations;

Whereas the Government of Israel has shown restraint in the past year even though Hezbollah has launched at least 4 separate attacks into Israel using rockets and ground forces;

Whereas, without provocation, on the morning of July 12, 2006, Hezbollah launched an attack into northern Israel, killing 7 Israeli soldiers and taking 2 hostage into Lebanon;

Whereas on June 25, 2006, despite Israel's evacuation of Gaza in 2005, the terrorist organization Hamas, which is also supported by Syria and Iran, entered sovereign Israeli territory, attacked an Israeli military base, killed 2 Israeli soldiers, and captured an Israeli soldier, and has refused to release that soldier;

Whereas rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel since Israel's evacuation of Gaza in 2005; and

Whereas both Hezbollah and Hamas refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist and call for the destruction of Israel: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the Senate--
      (1) reaffirms its steadfast support for the State of Israel;
      (2) supports Israel's right of self-defense and Israel's right to take appropriate action to deteraggression by terrorist groups and their state sponsors;
      (3) urges the President to continue fully supporting Israel as Israel exercises its right of self-defense in Lebanon and Gaza;
      (4) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers who are being held captive by Hezbollah or Hamas;
      (5) condemns the Governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas, and holds the Governments of Syria and Iran responsible for the acts of aggression carried out by Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel;
      (6) condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for exploiting civilian populations as shields and locating their military activities in civilian areas;
      (7) urges the President to use all available political and diplomatic means, including sanctions, to persuade the governments of Syria and Iran to end their support of Hezbollah and Hamas;
      (8) calls on the Government of Lebanon to do everything in its power to find and free the kidnapped Israeli soldiers being held in its territory, and to fulfill its responsibility under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (adopted September 2, 2004) to disband and disarm Hezbollah;
      (9) calls on the United Nations Security Council to condemn these unprovoked acts and to demand compliance with Resolution 1559, which requires that Hezbollah and other militias be disbanded and disarmed, and that all foreign forces be withdrawn from Lebanon;
      (10) urges all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure and strongly supports the use of all diplomatic means available to free the captured Israeli soldiers; and
      (11) recognizes that thousands of American nationals reside peacefully in Lebanon, and that those American nationals in Lebanon concerned for their safety should receive the full support and assistance of the United States government.

Sources: Library of Congress