Schneider Statement on Hizballah Tunnels
Following news reports of the discovery and destruction of cross-border tunnels constructed by the terrorist organization Hizballah from Lebanon into Israel, Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement:
“The recently disclosed tunnels infiltrating Israel’s border with Lebanon are a grave reminder of the serious threat posed by Hizballah and other Iranian-backed terrorist organizations. It is also evidence that Israel’s counter-tunnel defense program, with American support, is yielding results and remains vitally important to the security of our ally. Israel must always be able to take the appropriate steps to detect and defend against Hizballah’s plans to attack northern Israel.
“The United States will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in protecting her borders and ensuring the security of her citizens. The United Nations Security Council must also condemn Hizballah’s violation of Israel’s sovereign border and take active measures to enforce previous Security Council Resolutions, including UNSCR 1701.
“I have been a strong supporter of cooperation between the United States and Israel on counter-tunnel defense, and have led the effort to fund and reauthorize this critical program. In the face of these threats, we must continue to stand with our closest regional ally, Israel, including targeting the financial networks that fund Hizballah and working to deny Iranain proxy groups a foothold on Israel’s border.”
Schneider Successfully Requested Funding for US-Israel Counter-Tunnel Defense
Schneider led a bipartisan group of 56 Members of Congress urging robust funding in FY 19 for joint U.S.-Israel counter-tunnel defense efforts. In a letter to the Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense, Schneider and the other signers requested continued funding for the vital program. $47.5 million was included in the FY 19 Defense Appropriations bill as passed by the House. Last year, Schneider led a similar letter requesting $47.5 million and this amount was included in the FY 18 omnibus that was signed into law.
Schneider Introduced Bipartisan Legislation to Support Israel’s Anti-Tunnel Efforts
In 2017, Schneider and Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation to bolster Israel’s efforts to detect, map, and eliminate tunnels used by terrorist organizations to support and launch terrorist attacks against Israel. H.R. 2914, The United States-Israel Anti-Tunnel Defense Cooperation Act would authorize $47.5 million for the Department of Defense to carry out research, development, testing, and evaluation of anti-tunnel capabilities on a joint basis with Israel.