U.S. Senators Katie Britt, Jeanne Shaheen, Colleagues Lead Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Hamas’ Use of Sexual Violence During October 7th Terrorist Attack on Israel

December 15, 2023

WASHINGTOND.C., December 15, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) recently led a bipartisan resolution with Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Deb Fischer (R-Nebr.) to condemn Hamas for using sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war against Israelis during the October 7th terrorist attack.

“When I visited Israel with a bipartisan group of my colleagues in the wake of October 7, we were shown the footage of the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists. As a mother, as a daughter, as a sister, and as an American, I was absolutely horrified by the acts of pure evil carried out against innocent Israeli women and young girls. These reprehensible, barbaric acts of sexual violence have no place in our world and must be unequivocally and universally condemned. I am proud to stand alongside Senator Shaheen and our Senate colleagues in condemning Hamas’ evil and making it clear that the United States of America will not stand for these atrocities anywhere,” said Senator Britt.

“The deliberate use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war by Hamas terrorists against the people of Israel is atrocious,” Senator Shaheen said. “Footage and first-hand accounts of the horrors that happened to Israeli women, men and children on October 7th demonstrate that these actions – which are war crimes under international convention – were intended to torture, humiliate and oppress the victims. I’m proud to join with my colleagues, including Senator Britt, to introduce a bipartisan resolution that strongly condemns the barbaric attacks of October 7th and the sexual and gender-based violence carried out by Hamas against the people of Israel. The international community must continue to stand against rape as a weapon of war in all conflict settings.”

“I condemn in the strongest terms possible the horrific and barbaric acts of rape and sexual violence committed on October 7th by Hamas. For centuries, rape, sexual mutilation, sexual violence have played a grotesque role in the subjugation and suppression of the Jewish people. Rape has been used as a weapon of war for centuries — a deliberate form of torture that serves to dehumanize and terrorize not just women, but the entire community. This bipartisan resolution tells the world that Congress will not stay silent in the face of these atrocities. Rather, we will denounce them and will not rest until there is accountability for these evil crimes against humanity,” said Senator Gillibrand.

“Some events are so evil they cannot be ignored or explained away—they should unite us in condemnation, speaking in one, human voice,” said Senator Fischer. “And yet, in the wake of mass rape on October 7th, human rights activists became terror apologists, while women’s groups turned their backs on thousands of Israeli women. Every organization that has denied or ignored Hamas’s war crimes must speak out and help bring justice to the perpetrators.”

Joining Senators Britt, Shaheen, Gillibrand, and Fischer in cosponsoring the resolution were Senators John Fetterman (D-Penn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Angus King (I-Maine.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

Senator Britt has been an outspoken and strong supporter of Israel, especially in light of the brutal attack on October 7, 2023, by Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists. Following the October 7 attack, Senator Britt traveled to Israel with a bipartisan group of her Senate colleagues to meet with leaders across the region and emphasize the United States’ unequivocal support for Israel. This past week, Senator Britt joined a bipartisan letter to United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General António Guterres condemning the inaction of the U.N. regarding Hamas’s widespread sexual violence. In addition to supporting multiple resolutions condemning Hamas and standing with Israel, Senator Britt has cosponsored several pieces of legislation to combat the rise in antisemitism in the United States. She has also called for bone-crushing sanctions on Iran to inhibit its ability to finance terrorist proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah.