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Rep. Frankel Statement After House Passes Resolution Condemning Rape and Sexual Violence Committed by Hamas

Today, Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL-22) released the following statement after the House voted unanimously to pass a bipartisan resolution condemning the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, including those acts committed by Hamas terrorists on and since October 7th. Rep. Frankel introduced the resolution alongside Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL-26), Kathy Manning (D-NC-06), and Jen Kiggans (R-VA-02), with 200 total co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

“On October 7th, Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, mercilessly killing 1,200 people; raping, mutilating, burning, and assaulting their victims to inflict physical and psychological pain, unleashing trauma that continues to plague a grieving Israel. The brutality was planned and calculated,” said Rep. Frankel. “Sadly, Hamas’s savagery has been met with a shrug—and even denial—from many corners of the world. Our resolution loudly and clearly condemns all rape and forms of sexual violence as weapons of war, including those acts committed by Hamas terrorists on and since October 7th.”

“The U.S. Congress stands in strong, bipartisan solidarity with the victims of terrorism and sexual violence. Hamas’ atrocities were shocking in their depravity, and this resolution roundly condemns the hatred, antisemitism, and cruelty of October 7th,” said Rep. Díaz-Balart. “It’s an honor to work with my colleague, Lois Frankel, to hold Hamas terrorists accountable, and for supporting the victims by telling the truth of the horrors that they endured.”

“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. Manning. “I led 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. I’m proud that a bipartisan majority of Representatives voted to pass this important resolution.”

“The acts of sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists during their unprovoked October 7th attack are shocking and truly horrifying,” said Rep. Kiggans. “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. Today's strong bipartisan vote sends a clear message that the United States stands against the despicable acts committed by Hamas terrorists against women and girls in Israel.”

Israeli authorities have gathered “tens of thousands” of testimonies detailing sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th. Additionally, 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.” Physicians who have examined released hostages have also confirmed that Hamas terrorists sexually abused hostages in captivity, and that it likely continues today.

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 7th.

The resolution is supported by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), AIPAC, Foundation of Defense for Democracies (FDD) Action, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Jewish Women International (JWI), J Street, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), and Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

For the full text of the resolution, click here. To watch Rep. Frankel’s remarks from the House Floor, click here. The resolution passed unanimously.