American Jewish Committee (AJC) today applauded the House of Representatives for its clear-cut condemnation of Hamas for its use of sexual violence including rape as a weapon of war on and since October 7. H.Res.966, passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 418-0-1, also calls on the international community to hold accountable the perpetrators of this violence. AJC thanks Representatives Lois Frankel (D-FL), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Kathy Manning (D-NC), and Jen Kiggans (R-VA) for their leadership. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Katie Britt (R-AL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Deb Fisher (R-NE) introduced a similar resolution, S.Res.505.  

“The international community’s utter failure to adequately condemn and address Hamas’ use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war on and since October 7 is not merely disappointing – it is a dereliction of duty for all who claim to stand for human rights and humanity,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “The world cannot turn a blind eye to this brutality and such atrocities. We thank Representatives Frankel, Díaz-Balart, Manning, and Kiggans for their leadership and urge the Senate to pass the resolution introduced by Senators Shaheen, Britt, Gillibrand, and Fischer. The whole of Congress needs to make clear that the U.S. is united in demanding accountability for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”

On October 7, 2023, Hamas, the Iranian-backed terrorist organization, murdered more than 1,200 people in Israel – including babies and children, kidnapped 240 individuals, and weaponized sexual violence during their terror rampage. 

These atrocities committed by Hamas constitute gross violations of international law. Rape and sexual violence in conflict are war crimes. 

Israeli police have gathered evidence from more than 1,500 women and men in Israel who were victims or eyewitnesses of Hamas’ violence, including some who reported being sexually assaulted during such attacks; were witness to such sexual assaults; and/or whose sexual assaults have been medically documented. Additionally, photographic evidence, forensic medical units, and morgue workers have identified bodies subjected to mutilation and trauma consistent with sexual assault and rape, including shattered pelvises. 

H.Res.966 condemns Hamas for its use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war and calls on the international community to hold accountable perpetrators of such violence. Additionally, the resolution reaffirms the U.S. Government’s support for independent, impartial investigations of rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas and highlights the importance of supporting survivors.


AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York City, 25 offices across the United States, and 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world.