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Shaheen Leads Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Hamas’ Use of Sexual Violence During October 7th Terrorist Attack on Israel

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, is leading a bipartisan resolution with U.S. Senators Katie Britt (R-AL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) to condemn Hamas for using sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war against Israelis during the October 7th terrorist attack. U.S. Senators John Fetterman (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Casey (D-PA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Angus King (I-ME), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) joined Shaheen, Britt, Gillibrand and Fischer on the resolution.

“The deliberate use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war by Hamas terrorists against the people of Israel is atrocious,” said Senator Shaheen. “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.”

“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.

“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.”

Full text of the resolution can be found here.

Shaheen has long championed the rights of women and girls to live free of violence. She lead the re-introduction of the International Violence Against Women Act last year and leads the bipartisan introduction of the International Women’s Day resolution in the U.S. Senate each year. Shaheen is the author of the Women, Peace and Security Act, which was signed into law in 2017 and ensures women’s leadership roles in conflict resolution and peace negotiations. She has also led bipartisan efforts to address the unique barriers faced by young girls in developing countries in accessing a full education. Additionally, Shaheen is a strong supporter of Israel, having swiftly condemned Hamas on October 7th and calling for enduring support for Israel. She also joined letters calling for the release of the American hostages in Gaza, support for a strong humanitarian response in Gaza and a safe pathway to safety for Americans stuck in Gaza. She has urged the Biden administration to encourage Israel to provide more detailed information on its strategy to defeat Hamas while protecting innocent civilians in Gaza.