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US House passes near unanimous bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas' sexual violence on Oct. 7

Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib votes 'present'

(Photo: Screenshot/CSPAN)

A bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas’ brutal acts of rape and sexual violence during and after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The resolution came alongside a coordinated event on Capitol Hill to raise awareness of the terror group’s atrocities committed against civilians. 

Several U.S. lawmakers and senior Biden administration officials attended the event jointly organized by the Israeli Embassy in Washington and Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

The bill passed 418-0, with only Palestinian-American and ‘Squad’ member Rashida Tlaib voting “present.”

“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 Democrat Lois Frankel of Florida, who introduced the resolution with Republican Jen Kiggans of Virginia, Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, and Democrat Kathy Manning of North Carolina. 

“Hamas’s actions on October 7 and continuing are almost too difficult to speak about - raping, mutilating and burning to inflict psychological pain and unleashing trauma that continues to plague a grieving Israel,” Frankel said.

Tlaib said she “condemned all forms of sexual violence” but could not support the resolution because it “completely ignores and erases any sexual violence and abuse committed by the Israeli forces against Palestinians, especially children.”

While the overwhelming evidence and testimony of horrific sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on Oct. 7 has been widely documented, there have been no credible reports of sexual violence perpetrated by the IDF in Gaza.

On Oct. 7, some 3,000 Hamas terrorists burst across the border into Israel, murdering 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, including women, children and Holocaust survivors while thousands of rockets were fired at Israeli towns and cities. Entire families were executed in their homes, some parents were tortured in front of their children, children in front of their parents, and over 360 people were slaughtered at an outdoor festival. Over 130 hostages remain in captivity.

The resolution noted “thousands of testimonies from eyewitnesses of Hamas violence on October 7, 2023, including countless instances of rape, gang rape, sexual mutilation, and other forms of sexual violence.”

The resolution also reaffirmed the U.S. government’s “support for independent, impartial investigations of rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas” and called on “all nations to criminalize rape and sexual assault, and hold accountable all perpetrators of sexual violence, including state and non-state armed groups.”

Testimony from survivors of the Oct. 7 massacre and those who attended the Supernova music festival, as well as footage filmed by the terrorists during the attack, attest to the sadistic abuse perpetrated against civilians.

Two Israel Police officers investigating the sexual violence allegations and an Ichilov Medical Center doctor who treated some of the victims gave a closed briefing during the event, leaving Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz visibly shaken by what she heard.

“I can’t go into the specifics of the investigations and the details that were shared with us, but I have never seen more sadistic evil perpetrated against another human than in the photos and videos that we saw earlier this morning,” Wasserman-Schultz said during the open part of the event.

“The evidence is abundant and beyond compelling. Through survivors coming forward, witnesses, video footage and independent analysis, we know that Hamas’s use of sexual violence including rape, mutilation, and brutality was not an anomaly. It was a premeditated part of its strategy to purposefully use sexual violence as a weapon against innocent civilians,” she added.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, the husband of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, said: “The evidence is there…you cannot ignore the facts and the evidence when they’re right in your face. Do not ignore it. You cannot deny it.”

“We need to be able to clearly and unequivocally denounce this violence against women no matter what your thoughts or feelings are about any other issue that is happening with this conflict,” he added.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Mike Herzog stated: “This is about basic human values. This is about humanity. And when you understand that, you understand why the Israeli sense of security… was shattered on October 7.”

The event was also attended by U.S. antisemitism envoy Deborah Lipstadt and the executives of several major Jewish organizations.

Hostages who were released as part of a deal in late November have also testified that they witnessed or experienced sexual violence at the hands of their captors.

Hamas has denied all accusations of sexual abuse despite overwhelming evidence and testimonies.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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