US imposes sanctions on West Bank settlements and settlers

The Biden administration announced sanctions on two West Bank settlements on Thursday, the first time it has imposed economic restrictions on an entire Israeli outpost in the Palestinian territory.

In a statement announcing the measures, the U.S. State Department said the sanctions were imposed because of violence against civilians. “Extremist violence against civilians is unjustifiable, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, race or religion,” The State Council stated.

The two sanctioned settlements are listed as Moshes Farm (also known as Tirza Valley Farm Outpost) and Zvis Farm.

Three Israeli citizens were also individually placed on OFAC’s list of sanctioned entities: Zvi Bar Yosef, 31; Zvi Bar Yosef, 31; Neria Ben-Pazi, 30; and Moshe Shavit, 29 years old.

Media reports said all three have been linked to violence against Palestinians. The State Department said Bar Yosef “repeatedly committed violence and attempted violence against Palestinians in the West Bank,” while both Ben Pazi and Shavit used threats and violence to expel Palestinians from their land.

Sanctions prevent access to U.S. property or assets and prohibit financial institutions from working with targeted individuals. Israeli banks said they would comply with sanctions after the United States announced sanctions against four settlers in separate actions in February, with settlers telling Israeli media that their accounts had been frozen despite complaints from far-right ministers.

The move comes amid rising tensions between the Biden administration and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, not only over continued violence by Israeli settlers in the West Bank but also over escalating humanitarian tensions in Gaza Crisis, where at least 31,341 people are in trouble. died, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

See also  Finland holds vote to elect new president

President Biden He warned over the weekend that an Israeli ground offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which is now crowded with civilians fleeing other parts of the Strip, would become a “red line” for the United States, but he did not specify how it would be responded to.

On Thursday, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said the Israeli military intended to direct a “significant portion” of Rafah’s 1.4 million people to “humanitarian islands” in central Gaza, adding that Israel intended to “flood Gaza” “assistance.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Biden administration has not yet seen Israel’s plans.

“Our position has not changed,” Kirby told reporters. “We don’t want to see large-scale operations in Rafah unless there is a credible, legal, enforceable plan to keep civilians there safe.”

Thursday’s sanctions drew immediate criticism from some Israeli politicians.

“It is impossible for other countries to impose baseless sanctions on Israeli citizens and damage their property rights,” Tzvi Sukkot, a lawmaker from the far-right Religious Zionist party, told Israeli radio station 103FM on Thursday. announcement.

Meanwhile, the Israeli advocacy group Peace Now, which tracks and opposes West Bank settlements, welcomed the new sanctions and said in a post that it was now the settlements’ fault for “their violent and systemic criminality.” It’s time to pay the price. Social PlatformX.

Violence has escalated in the West Bank since an attack on Israel on October 7, sparking ongoing conflict. Gaza war. Human rights group Yesh Din called 2023 “the most violent year for West Bank settler violence against Palestinians, both in terms of the number and severity of incidents,” with violence particularly surging in the West Bank. Two months after the attack on Israel.

See also  UN report: 'Compelling' information revealed that Hamas raped, tortured hostages

It is estimated that there are as many as 700,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, spread across 279 settlements from the United Nations. On March 6, the Israeli settlement minister posted on the social media platform X that the plan to build 3,500 additional settlement houses is making progress. provoke condemnation from United Nations officials and some world leaders.

Thursday’s sanctions follow an executive order signed by Biden in February that allows the United States to target those who undermine peace, security and stability in the West Bank and undermine U.S. foreign policy objectives. including a two-state solution. Four Israeli settlers were included on the sanctions list at the time.

The executive order is just one sign of the administration’s increased pressure on Israeli settlements.In late February, Secretary of State Antony Blinken Announcing a reversal of the previous situation The U.S. government’s stance on Israeli settlements in the West Bank is that they are “incompatible with international law” and argue that they undermine Israel’s security.

Palestinian envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour told a conference this week that sanctions against individual settlers were not enough and that all settlers and settlements needed to be targeted. “Entire settlements and settler enterprises should be subject to sanctions – not allowing any of them to obtain a visa to visit any of your countries,” Mansour told the United Nations.

Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.

Source link

By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *