EXCLUSIVE – Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., on Friday introduced two pieces of “pro-Israel” legislation condemning attacks by Iranian military proxies and bolstering law enforcement training between the U.S. and Israel.
“For the past week we have witnessed how murderous jihadist terrorists have launched a full-scale assault on the democratic, Jewish State of Israel,” Gimenez, who previously served as mayor of Miami-Dade County, which boasts one of the largest Jewish communities in the United States, said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “I am proud to introduce this legislation to reaffirm America’s support for Israel and strengthen our security cooperation in the fight against global terror.”
House Resolution 3393, dubbed the U.S.-Israel Cooperation Expansion Act, would cultivate greater relations with Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East, by making the official policy of the United States to support bilateral law enforcement training between the two nations.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, more than 1,000 law enforcement officers and first responders have traveled to Israel to participate in joint training exercises on how to combat terrorism, manage mass causality situations and mitigate other security events, Gimenez’s office notes.
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Israel has long been a strategic partner in advancing U.S. military readiness, homeland defense, energy, and cybersecurity.
Because joint military exercises between Israel and the United States have proven to be a major success, the bill aims to bring the same approach to law enforcement cooperation to share best practices and help law enforcement better protect American communities, his office said. The bill also supports Israel’s inclusion to the 85-nation coalition that has sent law enforcement personnel to the International Law Enforcement Academy aimed at combating transnational crime.
Its co-sponsors are Reps. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., Randy Weber, R-Texas, Nancy Mace, R-S.C., Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Brian Babin, R-Texas, Chris Smith, R-N.J., Neal Dunn, R-Fla., and Michael Guest, R-Miss.
Gimenez also submitted House Resolution 409 “condemning the acts of terrorism committed by Iranian military proxies, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, against the people of the State of Israel.” The bill notes the democratic Jewish State of Israel is a key ally and a strategic partner of the United States, and it remains a standing policy of the United States to support Israel’s security efforts.
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“American policy has long sought to bring peace to the Middle East and recognize that both the Israeli and Palestinian people should be able to live in safe and sovereign states, free from fear and violence, with mutual recognition,” the resolution continues. “Hamas began launching rockets into the Israeli capital of Jerusalem and surrounding areas belonging to the Jewish people of Israel.”
The bill further recognizes Jerusalem as the legitimate capital city of the State of Israel, supports Israel’s “efforts of self-determination and collective security against external forces,” and “reaffirms support for policies and initiatives combatting anti-Semitic behavior around the world.”
Its cosponsors are Reps. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Randy Weber, R-Texas, Nancy Mace, R-S.C., Michael Bost, R-Ill., Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Brian Babin, R-Texas, Chris Smith, R-N.J., Neal Dunn, R-FL, Guy Reschenthaler, R-Penn., and Michael Guest, R-Miss.
The legislative package comes on the heels of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blocking at event scheduled at the U.S. Capitol to be hosted Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., last week that would have decried Israel as a “catastrophe” for Palestinians and the world. The ruling Hamas militant group in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday called on Palestinians to confront a flag-waving parade planned by Jewish nationalists through the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City, according to The Associated Press.
The comments by Hamas added to the already heightened tensions ahead of Thursday’s march and threatened to reignite fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, just days after a cease-fire took hold. Two years ago, an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas erupted during the annual march.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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