Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) applauded the Senate for unanimously passing their bipartisan bill last night, which would impose 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.
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.”
Cruz said, “I commend the Senate for unanimously passing our bipartisan bill. 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.”
In July, Donnelly and Cruz introduced the STOP Using Human Shields Act.
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.