Skip to content

December 15, 2023

Collins, King Join Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Hamas’ Use of Rape During October 7th Terrorist Attack on Israel

Human Rights Watch and the United Nations have passed resolutions stating that rape can constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, have joined a bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas for using sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war against Israelis during the October 7th terrorist attack.

More than 1,200 people were killed on October 7, 2023 by Hamas in its terrorist attack against Israel, the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history. Since the initial attack, investigators have spoken to survivors, witnesses, first responders, and viewed security footage to determine that dozens of women were raped and sexually-assaulted during the attack. International organizations like Human Rights Watch and the United Nations have passed resolutions stating that rape and gender-based violence can constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“Hamas’ widespread use of sexual violence against women in Israel during the terrorist attack on October 7 must be condemned unequivocally,” said Senator Collins. “It is imperative that we unite against these barbaric acts to hold Hamas accountable, support survivors, and provide justice for victims.”

“Violence against women is a barbaric, inhuman tactic and most recently was used indiscriminately as a weapon of war during the October 7th terrorist attack against Israel,” said Senator King. “The atrocities of gender-based violence must always be called out and condemned wherever, whenever and to whomever the violence occurs. Hamas has repeatedly called for the complete annihilation of the Jewish people and rejects any peaceful resolution of Jewish and Palestinian territorial claims to the land stating, ‘There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.’ Terrorism, including rape, will not create a more democratic Israel nor lead to self-determination for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who are not Hamas terrorists. We must be unwavering in our denunciation of rape and gender-based violence against Israeli women—and the hateful sentiments behind them.”

Earlier this week, Senator Collins led a bipartisan group of Senator colleagues in a letter to the United Nations (UN) for its inaction regarding Hamas’ widespread sexual violence, including mass rape and mutilation, against women in Israel on October 7, 2023.

Joining Collins and King on the resolution are Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Katie Britt (R-AL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), John Fetterman (D-PA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), 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).

As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins consistently advocates for funding for VAWA programs. Senator King is an original cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Act of 2019. With Senators Collins and King’s support, Congress passed a funding package for FY 2021 that included $513.5 million for the VAWA programs – an increase of $11 million from FY 2020.

Full text of the resolution can be found here.


Next Article » « Previous Article