Beirut firm goes on U.S. sanctions list for helping Hezbollah

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration added a Beirut-based company to its sanctions list for its purchase of items to bolster Hezbollah armaments.

The designation posted in a statement Thursday by the State Department named “brothers Kamel Mohamad Amhaz and Issam Mohamad Amhaz; their business, Stars Group Holding, which is based in Beirut and has subsidiaries in China and the UAE; and certain managers and individuals who supported their illicit activities.”

Stars Group Holding procured “dual use” items that can be used for civilian or military ends such as “engines, communications, electronics, and navigation equipment,” the statement said.

“These materials have directly supported Hezbollah’s development of unmanned aerial vehicles for its destructive military activities in Syria,” according to the statement.

Hezbollah is a U.S.-designated terrorist group and companies doing business with it are subject to sanctions under U.S. law.

“Today’s designation illustrates yet again the extent of Hezbollah’s international presence and reach,” the statement said. “We call on our partners to take action against Hezbollah’s illicit networks, which fuel its violent political agenda and enhance its ability to engage in destabilizing activities in Syria, throughout the Middle East more broadly, and around the world.”