Sen. Blackburn moves to cut off funds for terrorists targeting Israel

Hamas fires more than 45 rockets at Israel

The Israeli government reports Hamas has fired more than 45 missiles all over Israel. The rockets, aimed at Jerusalem, come as thousands of Israelis celebrate Jerusalem Day.

The unrest in Jerusalem has prompted Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn (R) to strike at the heart of anti-Israel terrorist funding.

She is introducing a bill, "The Hezbollah Money Laundering Prevention Act of 2021," to try and choke off the financial flow into the terrorist group that vows to eradicate the Jewish State and that she fears is helping fuel the current protests.

"What this would do is clamp down on their ability to have access to the U.S. banking system," says Blackburn. "We’re just trying to make it more difficult for them to have access to those funds. We’re making it more difficult for them to launder those dollars."

The Senator's legislation would invoke part of the U.S. Patriot Act to designate jurisdictions in Lebanon that serve as money laundering havens to fund the terrorist group. The U.S. State Department, which has long classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and "global terrorist threat," says that Iran helps support it to the tune of over $700 million a year.

"I hope they’re paying attention, and that they do see this as a message that the United States of America, we are going to stand with Israel and we are not going to take actions or allow actions to continue that are going to embolden our enemies," says Blackburn.

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The bill would block U.S. bank accounts tied to those that support Hezbollah, require a detailed report on the Lebanese leaders who provide support to the group, and allow President Biden to impose more sanctions on banks, companies and other entities that provide Hezbollah support. Blackburn says it would represent "the toughest sanctions on Hezbollah ever proposed by Congress, which could result in a lack of resources needed to continue their terrorist agenda in the region and abroad."

Senate legislation introduced in 2019 did not go as far as Senator Blackburn’s measures. It merely cited the Lebanese government and called on the Lebanese Armed Forces to "limit or expel Hezbollah-influenced military personnel" and seek for Lebanon’s armed forces "to disarm Hezbollah."

Blackburn believes the best way to target terrorist groups is to deny them the funds that enable them to carry out their terrorist actions. She says that she is very concerned about the recent uptick in violence, which only serves to benefit the extremist groups.

Throngs of rock-throwing Palestinian protestors have been violently demonstrating against Israeli moves to evict families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem after an Israeli court ruled in favor of the settlers' claims on the land. The U.S. and the United Nations have expressed "serious concerns" about the escalating violence, which is being encouraged by Islamic extremists from Hamas in the Gaza strip to the south, and from Hezbollah in Lebanon to the north.

"They've had 50 rockets that have been pushed into Israel, when you look at the fact that some of those were intended to get to Jerusalem, you understand that somebody is putting money into these actions. Somebody is funding those rockets that are being flown into Israel," Blackburn notes.

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Hezbollah has been Israel's main enemy since the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon in 1978, long vowing to destroy the Jewish state. It has been blamed for major terrorist attacks against Israelis, including the 1994 car bombings of a Jewish community center in Argentina, which killed 85 people, and the bombings of the Israeli Embassy in London. It has dug countless tunnels into northern Israel to carry out terrorist attacks, maintains bombing facilities on the border, and is believed to have upwards of 100,000 long-range missiles and rockets that can strike the Israeli territory.

"It is vitally important for our allies to know that they are our friends, and we stand with them. And equally important, that our enemies understand that we know they are our adversary and we are not going to take actions that are going to make it easier for them to attack us," Blackburn says.

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"Here is another tool in the toolbox that we can use to make it difficult for these terrorist organizations to endanger the lives and livelihoods of the American citizen."

Ben Evansky contributed to this report.

Eric Shawn Fox News