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Sen. Britt, colleagues call for investigation into Oct. 7 sexual violence

The senators also urged the international community to hold the perpetrators accountable.

Business meeting to markup an original bill entitled, "Legislative Appropriations Act", an original bill entitled, "Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act", and an original bill entitled, "Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act". Official U.S. Senate photo by Rebecca Hammel
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U.S. Senators Katie Britt, R-Ala., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, have introduced a Senate resolution calling on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to open a formal investigation into the acts of sexual violence and sexual torture committed by Hamas during and after the October 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

A recent U.N. report found there are “reasonable grounds” that sexual violence and sexual torture occurred during and after the attack on Israel, leading the Senators to demand the UNSC formally open an investigation. The Senators also urged the international community to hold the perpetrators accountable.

“The reprehensible, barbaric acts of sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7 have no place in our world and must be unequivocally and universally condemned,” said Senator Britt. “I was proud to recently lead a bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas for using sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war, and I now join my colleagues in calling on the U.N. to immediately open an investigation into these atrocities. As a mother, as a daughter, as a sister, and as an American, I will continue to speak out and stand firm against the pure evil that is Hamas.”

“I appreciate my colleagues for joining in this bipartisan effort,” said Senator Graham. “It is imperative that the U.N. firmly stand against sexual violence and sexual torture as a tool of war. In order to hold the perpetrators accountable, there must be an effort to preserve the facts and circumstances around Hamas’ brutal and barbaric sexual assault on Israeli women and children. This is a defining moment for the U.N. Start the investigation and start it now.”

“The horrific acts of sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7th were acts of pure evil and were another instance of persecutors using rape and sexual violence to subjugate the Jewish community,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Last year, I challenged the U.N. to denounce Hamas as a terrorist organization and its use of rape as a weapon of war. While the U.N. did lead a ‘fact-finding mission’ that corroborated these atrocities, it fell short of a true investigation. Therefore, I am joining Senators Graham, Blumenthal, Britt, Collins and Ernst to call on the U.S. to use its position on the Security Council to launch an official investigation into the sexual violence and torture of October 7th. The international community must hold accountable the perpetrators of these crimes, and I will not rest until it does so.”

“Hamas’ use of sexual violence as a tool of warfare during the October 7th terrorist attack on Israel must be condemned unequivocally,” said Senator Collins. “I urge my colleagues to join this bipartisan effort calling on the United Nations to investigate these atrocities. It is imperative that we unite against these barbaric acts to hold Hamas accountable, support survivors, and provide justice for victims.”

“The UN’s recent report clearly laid the ground work for a full investigation in how Hamas fighters used sexual violence during and after the attacks on October 7,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Such abhorrent, intolerable actions cannot be ignored. We owe it to the victims and survivors to use every tool at our disposal to fully investigate crimes of sexual violence and reveal to the world the true heinous nature of the terrorists that perpetrate them.”

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“After the October 7 Iran-backed attack on Israel, the world could no longer deny the brutality of Hamas that took over 1,000 innocent lives, including more than 30 Americans,” said Senator Ernst. “Look no further for evidence of their inhumane cruelty than the fact that Hamas used rape as a weapon against Israelis and Jews. As a survivor of sexual assault myself, this is personal, and these war crimes cannot go unpunished. While the UN failed to immediately condemn these vile actions, we must ensure terrorists are fully investigated and held accountable.”

The Graham-Gillibrand-Britt-Collins-Blumenthal-Ernst resolution: 

  • Calls upon the United States to insist that the United Nations Security Council open an official investigation into the sexual violence and sexual torture committed during and after the attack on the State of Israel on October 7, 2023.
  • Demands that the international community hold accountable those who perpetrated acts of sexual violence and sexual torture during and after that attack.

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. Last December, Senator Britt led a bipartisan resolution with Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Deb Fischer, R-Nebr., and 19 of their colleagues to condemn Hamas for using sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war against Israelis during the October 7 terrorist attack. Senator Britt also 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.

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. 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.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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