McCaul Leads Over 100 Republicans in Letter to President Biden Supporting Israel’s Right to Self-Defense Against Hamas Terrorists
Washington, May 19, 2021
By: House Foreign Affairs Committee Press Release
Washington, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul led over 100 Republican House Members in a letter to President Biden supporting Israel’s right to self-defense. The letter calls on the President to maintain U.S. security assistance to Israel without any added conditions. The letter also urges the President to undertake efforts to weaken Hamas, including by targeting Iran’s support for Hamas and sanctioning Hamas for its use of civilians as human shields.
“Israel has an unequivocal right to self-defense. The United States would never tolerate the launch of rockets at our civilian population, nor should Israel be expected to. We must work together to help our ally defend itself from Hamas and other threats, and to cut off the support to Hamas that enables it to kill and injure Israeli and Palestinian civilians.”
The full text of the letter can be found here and below.
Dear President Biden,
Israel has been under attack by the terrorist group Hamas, with thousands of rockets launched at Israel since May 10. Israel has an unequivocal right to self-defense. The United States would never tolerate the launch of rockets at our civilian population, nor should Israel be expected to. We must work together to help our ally defend itself from Hamas and other threats, and to cut off the support to Hamas that enables it to kill and injure Israeli and Palestinian civilians.
These attacks clearly demonstrate the critical importance of our security assistance to Israel, as agreed to in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding. You previously stated, “I’m not going to place conditions for the security assistance given the serious threats that Israel is facing, and this would be, I think, irresponsible.” We urge you to uphold this commitment, and we continue to oppose any reductions in funding or added conditions on security assistance, which would be detrimental to Israel’s ability to defend itself against all threats, including the current assault.
The Iron Dome defense system, a product of U.S.-Israel security cooperation, has saved countless lives by intercepting terrorist rockets and preventing further casualties and escalation. During prior conflicts, Congress and the Administration have acted quickly together to re-supply Israel to continue its effective operations. We stand ready to work with you if a determination is made that additional munitions or materiel are urgently needed.
The U.S. government previously estimated that Iran has historically provided up to $100 million annually in combined support to Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. It is imperative that the United States make a concerted effort to cut off this pipeline of support to prevent future bombardments on Israel.
Hamas’ terrorist tactics have devastating consequences for Palestinian civilians as well as Israelis. In 2018, Congress passed the Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, which applies mandatory sanctions to Hamas terrorists using civilians as human shields. We urge you to examine the evidence and make any necessary determinations regarding whether Hamas terrorists have used civilians as human shields in the current fighting.