Lebanese banks have practically begun implementing the U.S. law against Hizbullah, which imposed financial sanctions on the party and its institutions, informed sources told the daily al-Akhbar on Wednesday.
The sources said that the bank accounts of several Hizbullah institutions, including The Emdad Committee for Islamic Charity, the Martyr’s Foundation and the St. George Hospital have been closed, including hundreds or maybe thousands of other accounts.
They pointed out that the step is expected after the U.S. imposed the law and that it will gradually evolve.
However, they remarked that the closure has also affected a number of organizations, schools, and hospitals that branch out from the parent institution and that their bank accounts have also been closed.
The hospitals that branch out from the Martyr’s foundation include al-Rasoul al-Aazam hospital, Baalbek Hospital, West Bekaa Hospital and other health, social and educational institutions.
The U.S. law targets the sources of funding of Hizbullah and those “knowingly facilitating a significant transaction or transactions for” Hizbullah or any individual, business or institution linked to the group.
In May, the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) held a meeting after Hizbullah’s Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc criticized the Central Bank for saying it would abide by the U.S. law that came into effect in April.
The criticism came after a cabinet meeting discussed a decision by banks to shut down the accounts of at least two Hizbullah lawmakers.
Lebanon’s Central Bank governor Riad Salameh has said that Lebanon will abide by the restrictions in the Hizbullah International Financing Prevention Act, which was signed into law in December.