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Katie Britt and colleagues call for investigation into sexual violence by Hamas in October 7 attack

On October 7 an armed terrorist force invaded the state of Israel in numbers without provocation or a formal announcement of hostilities. The Hamas terrorists targeted civilians both for summary execution and for taking prisoners. Those prisoners were systematically sexually tortured by multiple Hamas members.

On Tuesday U.S. Senators Katie Britt (R-Alabama), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), 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 Sen. 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 Sen. 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 Sen. 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 Sen. 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 groundwork for a full investigation in how Hamas fighters used sexual violence during and after the attacks on October 7," said Sen. 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."

"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 Sen. 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.

Senator Britt has been an outspoken and strong supporter of Israel, especially following the brutal attack on October 7, 2023, by Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists.

Following the October 7 attack, 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.

Katie Britt was elected to the Senate in 2022.

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