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June 27, 2024

Reps. Schiff, Goldman Urge Clarity on Biden Administration's Omission of Hamas Sexual Violence in Fact Sheet

Washington, D.C.— Today, Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y) sent a letter to President Biden requesting that the Administration clarify and update a recently released fact sheet to include Hamas' sexual violence against Israel on October 7.

The lawmakers note that while the White House fact sheet on conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) identifies specific instances of CRSV, including the implementation of sanctions based on atrocities against women in Ukraine, in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria, it does not list sexual violence committed by Hamas.

“We thank you for your leadership in supporting Israel’s fight against terrorism. Israel has had no better friend than the United States, and no closer ally than you and your Administration. Yet, we write this letter to you to express our deepest concern at the omission of sexual violence committed by Hamas against innocent Israelis in the White House Fact Sheet on the BidenHarris Administration’s Actions to Address Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, released on June 17, 2024.This Fact Sheet asserts that preventing and responding to conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is a top priority for the Administration,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

“[...] Clearly missing from this list of victims are the women who experienced sexual violence on October 7, 2023, as a result of the brutal attack by Hamas against Israel. There is substantial evidence that Hamas perpetrated sexual violence against Israeli women on that terrible day, as well as against the hostages they took in the ensuing days and weeks. The UN report from the Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict found that there was “reasonable grounds to believe” that Hamas committed rape, including gang rape, against women in multiple locations in Israel. In some instances, after committing these acts of sexual violence, Hamas then murdered these victims,” the lawmakers continued.

“Given the evidence of these horrific incidents, the brutal and vicious sexual violence committed by Hamas must not be omitted from the White House’s Fact Sheet. The Administration and Congress must never lose sight of Hamas’ sexual violence against Israel or give Hamas special dispensation in seeking accountability for its actions. We ask that the White House immediately update its Fact Sheet to include the sexual violence committed by Hamas. We also urge your Administration to impose sanctions against individuals of Hamas connected to this CRSV. Your Administration rightly began imposing sanctions against individuals connected to CRSV in June 2023, adding additional individuals in December 2023. The Administration must sanction Hamas members by including them on the list of individuals who have connection to acts of CRSV. We thank you again for your leadership in addressing this issue,” the lawmakers concluded.

Read the full letter here.

Background on Schiff’s Ongoing Support for Israel, Push for Humanitarian Aid

Schiff has repeatedly reinforced his unwavering support for Israel, both in the days immediately following the October 7th attack, and by working to secure critical security assistance in the months since. Recently, Schiff voted for the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, which allocated over $26 billion to support Israel and provide humanitarian relief to Gaza. Schiff has also repeatedly condemned the rise in antisemitism and bigotry displayed on college campuses and violent protests in California and across the country.