Kiggans, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Condemn Hamas’ Sexual Violence

Jan 25, 2024
Armed Forces
Press

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced that she, Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-22), Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-26), and Congresswoman Kathy Manning (NC-06) have introduced legislation to forcefully condemn Hamas’ use of rape and sexual violence as weapons of war on and since October 7th.

“The acts of sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists during their unprovoked October 7th attack are shocking and truly horrifying,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “As a former Naval officer, I’m appalled that these atrocities are being used as tools of war. As a woman serving in Congress, I believe it is my duty to use my voice to condemn such sickening violence. I’m proud to join my colleagues to do just that and stand with millions across the United States who share our disgust with these heinous crimes.”

“Our bipartisan resolution says it loud and clear: rape and sexual violence are crimes against humanity and should never be used or accepted as weapons of war,” said Rep. Frankel. “As members of Congress, we condemn the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists on and since October 7th.”

“I am proud to have co-led this House Resolution condemning the atrocities committed by Hamas in its war against the people of Israel,” said Rep. Díaz-Balart. “This resolution is a testament to the unwavering solidarity of Congress in the condemnation of the ruthlessness perpetrated by Hamas. Hamas’ crimes are unfathomable in their depravity and inhumanity. We must roundly condemn this evil, hold the perpetrators accountable, and work to ensure it never happens again. I remain steadfast in my support of Israel and in my efforts to combatting the evil that is Hamas, and working with my colleagues for the safe return of those still held hostage.”

“On October 7th, Hamas terrorists used brutal sexual violence as a weapon of war to inflict physical, emotional, and psychological trauma on women and girls in Israel. I’m heartbroken, outraged, and devastated for the victims and survivors,”said Rep. Kathy Manning. “I’m leading this resolution to unequivocally condemn these atrocities, call on all international bodies to hold the perpetrators accountable, and reaffirm my commitment to supporting survivors of sexual violence.”

“On October 7, 2023, Hamas committed brutal atrocities against women. Rape, mutilation, and torture were rampant and premeditated,” said Ted Deutch, CEO of American Jewish Committee. “I applaud Representatives Frankel, Diaz-Balart, Dingell, and Kiggans for their condemnation of Hamas’s atrocities and support for independent and impartial investigations into their use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war. The world must know the truth and must not turn a blind eye to the reality of Hamas’ despicable and inexcusable actions.”

“The barbaric attacks perpetuated Hamas on October 7 will forever leave a dark mark on Israel and all those effected by these heinous acts,” said ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt. “A wide body of evidence has shown that Hamas’ brutal assault included sexual violence as a weapon of war. The fact that since October 7 far too many have dismissed, downplayed, or even outright denied Hamas’ use of rape and other sexual violence, is just another example of the skyrocketing rise of antisemitism that has been all too evident in recent months and seeks to discredit the survivors of these incidents, who have already gone through untold horror. We cannot stand idly by, and I am thankful to Rep. Frankel, Diaz-Balart, Manning, and Kiggans for introducing this important bipartisan resolution, making it clear that the U.S. stands with these women and will work to bring the perpetrators of sexual violence accountable.”

“As the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States, Hadassah condemns rape and all forms of sexual violence always. We believe Hamas must be held accountable for war crimes committed against Israeli women and girls,” said Hadassah National President Carol Ann Schwartz. “We are grateful for Representative Frankel, Representative Diaz-Balart, Representative Kiggans and Representative Manning’s leadership in speaking out against Hamas’ use of rape as a weapon of war and calling for justice.”

“In the aftermath of the horrific October 7 terrorist attack on Israel, the voices of Israeli women and girls assaulted and raped by Hamas were silenced. We cannot allow these stories to go unheard, nor can we allow the perpetrators of such heinous crimes to go unpunished,” said Jody Rabhan, Chief Policy Officer, National Council of Jewish Women. “National Council of Jewish Women is so grateful to Representatives Frankel, Diaz-Balart, Manning, and Kiggans for their moral leadership in introducing a critical resolution that not only condemns Hamas for the attack and use of rape as a weapon of war, but also calls on fellow nations and international bodies to hold Hamas accountable for these crimes.”

Israeli authorities have gathered “tens of thousands” of testimonies of sexual violence committed by Hamas on Oct. 7th. A New York Times investigation uncovered more horrific stories, including eyewitness accounts of “more than 30 bodies of women and girls in and around the [music festival] site…legs spread, clothes torn off, signs of abuse in their genital areas,” a woman’s corpse with “dozens of nails driven into her thighs and groin,” a woman “shredded into pieces,” a woman’s breast sliced with a box cutter and thrown into the street—among numerous other grisly reports. The investigation establishes that the attacks against women were, “not isolated events but part of a broader pattern of gender-based violence on Oct. 7th.” 

The resolution: 

  • Condemns all rape and forms of sexual violence as weapons of war, including those acts committed by Hamas terrorists on and since October 7th;
  • Calls on all nations to criminalize rape and sexual assault, and hold accountable all perpetrators of sexual violence, including state and non-state armed groups;
  • Calls on all international bodies to unequivocally condemn the barbaric murder, rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping by Hamas and other terrorists on and since October 7th, and hold accountable all perpetrators;
  • Reaffirms the United States Government’s support for independent, impartial investigations of rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas on and since October 7th; and
  • Reaffirms its commitment to supporting survivors of rape and sexual violence, including those brutalized on and since October 7.

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

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