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Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 8369, the “Israel Security Assistance Support Act.” Chairman McCaul emphasized the importance of the United States standing by our friend and ally, Israel, as it enters the final stage of its war against Hamas terrorists. 


— Remarks as delivered — 

Hamas’ October 7 massacre was as cruel, barbaric, and bloody as anything I have ever seen. Hamas unleashed pure evil on Israel that day. The Hamas terrorists filmed themselves committing brutal atrocities because they were so proud of their barbaric acts.

In just hours, they murdered 1,200 innocent people and took over 250 hostages, including Americans.

And I say this to remind my colleagues of the moral clarity that we, as a body, felt in the aftermath of these brutal attacks.

It was obvious to us then, that Hamas was ruthless. It was obvious to us that Hamas needed to be eradicated to ensure Israel’s security.

And it was obvious to us that Hamas would fight dirty and use innocent civilians as human shields.

And, it was obvious to us that Israel had no choice but to win this war and end the perpetual terrorist theat.

We all, Republicans and Democrats, spent those weeks talking about our steadfast support for Israel. Our ironclad commitment.

In fact, Mr. Meeks and I introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas in support of Israel which had more cosponsors than any other resolution in the history of the Congress. 

However, today I am deeply disappointed that for some in this country, and for the administration, that moral clarity has faded. That their ironclad commitment apparently is not in fact, ironclad.

In an about-face, the Biden administration is now withholding critical arms necessary for Israel to win this war. This administration wants to dictate how Israel executes the war they were thrust into.

They did not ask for this war. They did not start this war. Hamas started this war.

Just recently though, President Biden said, “If they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons, period.”

That would be similar for us to say, Madam Speaker, during World War II, my father’s war, “You can invade all the way up to Berlin, but you can’t go into Berlin to finish the job.” Imagine if we had done that with our allies back then. 

Israel is in a fight for its very existence. And this administration’s public break with Israel has only made negotiations and victory more difficult.

Rafah is the final key military objective to complete the mission against Hamas.

Israel has effectively eradicated 19 battalions throughout Gaza, yet four remain in Rafah. This is the last stage of the military operation, and it keeps getting delayed, and delayed, and delayed.

We know that Hamas is exploiting this ceasefire and using the negotiation process just to buy more time.

Hamas has established a network of tunnels that total over 300 miles in Gaza. These tunnels of terror are where they are holed up, ready to strike Israel at the first opportunity.

Their use of tunnels is why Israel must use these larger bombs; to destroy their command-and-control centers and eliminate the terrorists that find refuge in them.

And by the way, contrary to what has been said publicly, these bombs when applied with the [Joint Direct Attack Munitions] kits can become precision guided weapons. “Precision” means just that: precise. It goes straight to the target without collateral damage. And it does indeed protect innocent civilians.

We know Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas, is somewhere around those tunnels and taking him out is critical to defeating Hamas.

Madam Speaker, as the saying goes, “War is hell.” War is horrific. War is messy. Nobody wants war. 

But Israel did not start this war. Hamas did.

Sadly, civilian casualties are part of urban warfare. Israel has limited this number greatly and is opening all routes for humanitarian assistance.  

This despite the fact that Hamas are the ones who use human shields, hide behind hospitals and schools and put civilians in harm’s way.

It was Hamas that destroyed the Erez checkpoint on October 7th, significantly impeding aid from getting into Gaza.

And since then, they have repeatedly attacked another checkpoint that serves as a major artery of aid into Gaza.

Egypt is also currently delaying aid through the Rafah checkpoint.

But just the other day I saw a video of Hamas killing their own people, Palestinian children simply trying to get food out of the trucks as [Hamas] gunned down their own people.

Until Israel finishes the last major operation to remove Hamas from power – to defeat the remaining battalions that are in Rafah, we will never have the peaceful resolution that everybody wants.

For until, Rafah is destroyed and Hamas is destroyed, we will not be able to get to the peace talks with the Saudis and Israel and the other Arab nations that everyone is so optimistic about.

I can only think of one purpose to withhold these weapons – this administration is more concerned about a small vocal wing of activists, than the “ironclad” commitment that they talked about to stand by Israel.

Under this administration I have noticed a disturbing trend. A trend where we turn our backs on our allies and fall short of the promises we make.

That is why this legislation is so important. It will ensure the weapons are delivered to Israel and it will reassure our allies that when America makes a commitment, we keep it.

For think about this Madam Speaker: What kind of a message is this sending both to our allies and friends and our adversaries and enemies?

To our allies, it sends a message of we cannot be trusted. And to our adversaries it sends a message that they no longer [need to] fear us. It does not send a message of deterrence. It sends a message of weakness and invites conflict, aggression, and now, yes, war. 

For imagine if Iran cut off its weapons to Hezbollah and cut off its weapons to the Houthi rebels. What would be said of Iran? What would be our impression? They believe they have achieved victory. Madam Speaker, without a shot fired. Victory handed to them by this administration. Tying the hand of Israel, one hand behind its back as it moves into the final stage of this war to complete its mission. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu says, “I will do this alone if I have to.” 

We need to stand with our ally Israel. He should not have to do this alone. We need to stand with our ally Israel. Stand with her and stand with her to defeat this terrorist organization – Hamas – and bring a final closure and a peaceful resolution to the Middle East. 

I reserve the balance of my time.