The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed bipartisan legislation requiring the American government to sanction international entities that provide support to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
With Tuesday’s approval, the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2019 will now go on to the Senate for consideration.
Introduced by Reps. Brian Mast (R-Fla) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), the aim of the legislation is to prevent Hamas, PIJ and their affiliates from accessing their “international support networks.”
The legislation also targets the practice of both terrorist groups of smuggling weapons under the cover of medicines and other forms of humanitarian aid.
Mast said in a statement that the passage of the bill was “good news,” paving the way for “serious sanctions on anyone that assists Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or their affiliates.”
Said Mast: “These sanctions send a strong message: the United States will not tolerate anybody who supports these radical Islamic terrorists. Period.”
Gottheimer said he was “proud that the House passed our bipartisan legislation today to impose strong sanctions on terrorists including Hamas and PIJ.”
The New Jersey congressman added in a statement: “The Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act will strengthen existing sanctions to weaken these terrorist groups that threaten our ally Israel, undermine peace, and further destabilize the Middle East. I now urge our colleagues in the Senate to act swiftly and stand up to terror.”
The act was among 23 bills that came before the House for voting on Tuesday. Also approved in the same session was a bill introduced by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill) that opposes the “Global BDS Movement” and expresses support for a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.