Senators Affirm Israel’s Right to Self-Defense

Last light, the Senate unanimously passed Resolution 599 supporting Israel’s “Pillar of Defense” operation against Hamas. According to The Times of Israel,

The United States Senate sent a message of solidarity to Israel on Thursday by unanimously passing a resolution that expressed firm support for Israel’s right to protect its people from terrorism on the second day of Pillar of Defense.

Introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), Senate Resolution 599 expressed ‘vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizing and strongly supporting its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism.’

Sixty-two Senators joined the bipartisan resolution as co-sponsors.

The full text of the resolution follows the jump.
112TH CONGRESS 2D SESSION S. RES. 599

Expressing vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizing and strongly supporting its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Mrs. GILLIBRAND (for herself and Mr. KIRK) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

RESOLUTION

Expressing vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizing and strongly supporting its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism. Whereas Hamas was founded with the stated goal of destroying
the State of Israel;

  • Whereas Hamas has been designated by the Secretary of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization;
  • Whereas Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence, and accept previous agreements between
    Israel and the Palestinians;
  • Whereas Hamas has launched thousands of rockets and missiles since Israel dismantled settlements and withdrew from Gaza in 2005;
  • Whereas terrorists in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have fired approximately 900 rockets and missile shells into
    Israel this year, an increase from roughly 675 attacks in 2011 and 350 in 2010;
  • Whereas Hamas has increased the range of its rockets, reportedly with support from Iran and others, putting additional
    large numbers of Israelis in danger of rocket attacks from Gaza;
  • Whereas, on November 14, 2012, President Barack Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated
    Israel’s right to self-defense; and
  • Whereas Israel, as a fellow democracy, has an inherent right to self defense in the face of terrorist attacks: Now,
    therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate —

  1. expresses unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes and strongly supports its inherent right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism;
  2. reiterates that Hamas must end Gaza linked terrorist rocket and missile attacks against Israel, recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence, and agree to accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians;
  3. urges the United Nations Security Council to condemn the recent spike in Gaza-linked terrorist missile attacks against Israel, which risk causing civilian casualties in both Israel and Gaza; and
  4. encourages the President to continue to work diplomatically with the international community to prevent Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations from retaining or rebuilding the capability to launch rockets and missiles against Israel.

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