FIRST ON FOX: Over one-third of U.S. senators are calling on American United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to introduce a resolution to label the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas a terrorist group.
Senators James Lankford, R-Okla., and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., sent Thomas-Greenfield the Thursday letter with 32 of their colleagues from both side of the aisle pressing the ambassador to bring up a resolution to the U.N. Security Council recognizing Hamas as a terrorist group and imposing sanctions on them.
The senators praised Thomas-Greenfield’s ‘unequivocal condemnation of Hamas’ terrorism’ and her ‘support for Israel’s right to defend its people.’ But they said recent ‘events have demonstrated that Hamas’ actions, tactics, and stated goals are in many ways indistinguishable from Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations’ that the U.N. has already sanctioned.
‘Therefore, we write to urge you to bring a resolution to the UN Security Council recognizing and imposing sanctions on Hamas as a terrorist organization,’ the senators wrote.
Lankford and Rosen described the October 7 attacks on Israel where ‘thousands of Hamas terrorists launched attacks, including on civilian communities, in southern Israel, brutally murdering 1,400 innocent people and wounding 4,500 others’ and noted that ‘Hamas kidnapped over 240 men, women, and children – ranging from infants to Holocaust survivors.’
‘Hamas terrorists have committed and continue to commit abhorrent attacks that not only impact Israelis but also directly impact Americans citizens, with at least 32 Americans killed and countless more held in captive as a result of the terrorist attack on October 7. In fact, Hamas hostages come from 25 countries around the world. Hamas’ reign of terror is not just an Israeli problem, but one that impacts us all.’
The senators wrote that, since October 1997, ‘the U.S. Department of Treasury has designated Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) as Foreign Terrorist Organizations’ and that ‘these groups have been listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) since October 2001.’
Lankford and Rosen noted that numerous ‘other countries and international entities rightfully have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization, including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Israel, the Organization of American States, Paraguay, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom’ and noted that Switzerland is ‘exploring legal avenues to designate Hamas as a terrorist entity.’
The lawmakers also warned there ‘are multiple consequences of the UN not recognizing Hamas as a terrorist organization.’
‘First, the lack of a unified voice among the international community risks eroding the UN’s credibility in response to one of the worst terrorist attacks in history. Additionally, as the largest financial contributor to the UN, the U.S. must take urgent action to prevent the flow of funds into the hands of Hamas. The absence of UN sanctions on Hamas is a glaring loophole, circumventing U.S. financial controls, such as the rigorous standards set by the U.S. Department of Treasury, potentially allowing Hamas to evade U.S. sanctions.’
‘Furthermore, the lack of UN sanctions on Hamas enables them to bolster their capabilities by exploiting international financial channels, including accessing financial systems and soliciting donations from charities,’ they continued.
‘We are also concerned that a lack of UN sanctions enables Hamas to divert humanitarian aid for malicious intent, which deprives innocent Palestinian civilians of crucial assistance while simultaneously strengthening offensive capabilities used to attack Israel,’ Lankford and Rosen continued.
The lawmakers wrote that ‘Hamas continues to divert aid meant for civilians in order to fund its operations by’ imposing ”taxes’ on humanitarian consignments at border checkpoints,’ selling donated goods intended to go to Palestinian civilians ‘and later selling them illicitly for financial gain,’ plus ‘repurposing humanitarian facilities, like water and sewage components, to create rockets and missiles.’
‘We therefore request you bring forward a UN resolution to recognize and sanction Hamas as a terrorist organization,’ they concluded the letter. ‘Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to your timely response.’
Joining Lankford and Rosen on the letter are 32 of their Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle, including Republican Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Marco Rubio of Florida, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.
Democratic Senators Alex Padilla of California, Mark Kelly of Arizona, and Cory Booker, as well as independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema, also signed onto the letter.
The United States Mission to the U.N. did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.