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Crapo, Risch Join Colleagues in Condemning UN Inaction on Hamas's Sexual Violence Against Women

Washington,D.C.--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and 24 other colleagues in sending a letter condemning the inaction of the United Nations (UN) regarding Hamas’s widespread sexual violence, including mass rape and mutilation, against women in Israel on October 7, 2023.  The Senators urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to open an independent investigation into Hamas’s acts of sexual violence and to hold the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women--the organization dedicated to ending gender-based violence--accountable for its failure to immediately and unequivocally condemn Hamas’s atrocities against women.

“We write to express our profound disappointment with the United Nations’ (UN) response to Hamas’s widespread sexual violence, including rape and mutilation, as a weapon of war against women in Israel on October 7, 2023,” wrote the Senators.  “A growing body of evidence including the testimonies of survivors, witnesses, and first responders makes clear that as part of Hamas’s terrorist attack that killed 1,200 men, women, and children on October 7, the terrorist organization intentionally used rape and sexual assault as weapons of war.”

“Sexual violence, particularly on this scale and of this level of brutality, must be condemned unequivocally and without qualification, which is why we were shocked that it took UN Women nearly two months to speak out against these atrocities,” the Senators continued. “... we urge you to move swiftly to seek the establishment of an independent fact-finding effort through a separate mechanism, tasked with collecting testimonies from survivors and witnesses of Hamas’s sexual violence. An independent investigation is a necessary step to hold perpetrators accountable, support survivors, and provide justice for victims.”

Joining Crapo, Risch, Rosen, Ernst, Gillibrand, Collins and Cardin were Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Arizona), Katie Britt (R-Alabama), Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), John Fetterman (D-Pennsylvania), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee).

Full text of the letter can be found here.