Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) introduced a bipartisan resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday condemning “rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas in its war against Israel.”
Co-led by Frankel and Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) and Jen Kiggans (R-Va.), the resolution has 149 co-sponsors. AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah and other Jewish and pro-Israel groups have also endorsed it.
“This resolution is a testament to the unwavering solidarity of Congress in the condemnation of the ruthlessness perpetrated by Hamas,” Díaz-Balart said. “Hamas’s 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.”
The resolution notes that Israeli authorities “have gathered thousands of testimonies from eyewitnesses” of Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attacks in southern Israel and recorded “countless instances of rape, gang rape, sexual mutilation and other forms of sexual violence,” as Israel continues to gather evidence.
Without naming any organization, the resolution also criticizes the international community for its slowness—or in some cases outright failure—to condemn Hamas’s use of rape and sexual violence.
Critics, including women’s rights activists, have highlighted the inaction of UN Women, which bills itself as “the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women,” in failing to condemn Hamas for more than 50 days after the attacks.
In November, UN Women posted a condemnation of Hamas for the first time on social media. It then deleted the post and replaced it with one calling for the release of hostages without condemning the terror group specifically. Under intense criticism, UN women eventually issued a statement condemning Hamas on Dec. 1.
Tuesday’s resolution calls on all international bodies to condemn the atrocities Hamas committed on Oct. 7 unequivocally and hold the perpetrators accountable.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced a similar bipartisan resolution in the Senate in December.