US slaps sanctions on Israeli settlers in West Bank

Armed Israeli settlers harass Palestinian farmers during an olive harvest in the West Bank village of Jibya.

Given the shocking uptick in settler violence in the West Bank since October 7, the United States handed out sanctions to three Israelis who have committed violent acts when living in the territory, the Associated Press (AP) reported on March 14.

Since Hamas’ assault on Israel in October, around 450 have been killed and thousands have been wrongfully arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank. 

The US Treasury Department website exposed the Israeli settlers, Zvi Bar Yosef, Neriya Ben Pazi and Moshe Sharvit, who are believed to be in their late 20s and early 30s. 

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, “Today (March 14) we are taking further action to promote accountability for those perpetuating violence and causing turmoil in the West Bank. 

“There is no justification for extremist violence against civilians or forcing families from their homes, whatever their national origin, ethnicity, race, or religion.” 

The Treasury Department also imposed sanctions against two mixed farming communities, Moshes Farm and  Zvis Farm which is situated near the remote settlement of Halamish.

READ: US declares visa bans on Israel over West Bank violence

The move freezes any assets associated with the sanctioned individuals and farms as well as preventing US nationals from cooperating with them. 

It is the second time since October that Washington has sanctioned Israeli settlers in the illegally occupied Palestinian territory.  

In February, President Joe Biden approved sanctions on four Israeli settlers accused of brutally assaulting Palestinians in the West Bank. 

Said sanctions blocked the individuals from accessing all US property, assets and the American financial system. 

The State Department said on February 1, “President Biden and Secretary Blinken have been clear that the levels of violence we have seen in the West Bank over the past few months are unacceptable. Violence in the West Bank surged to alarming levels in 2023. This includes unprecedented levels of violence by Israeli extremist settlers targeting Palestinians and their property, as well as violence by Palestinian extremist militants against Israeli civilians.” 

AP/ Fox News

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