Biden's order a rare move against an ally
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Washington Imposes Sanctions on Israelis Amid Rising Tensions in the West Bank

In a significant development reflecting mounting dissatisfaction with the U.S. stance towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Biden administration announced sanctions on four Israelis accused of engaging in violence among West Bank settlers.

President Joe Biden’s executive order targets Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians aspire to establish their future state. The order implements sanctions and visa restrictions against individuals attacking, intimidating, or seizing the property of Palestinians, as outlined by White House National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan.

The move aims to foster peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians, according to Sullivan.

Following an attack by Palestinian Hamas militants on Israel in early October, daily assaults on settlements more than doubled for almost four months. Israel’s retaliation against the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip heightened tensions in the region.

The first Israeli citizens to be declared a “threat to U.S. national security” were four settlers – David Shai Hasdaei, Yinon Tanjil, Shalom Zikkerman and Yinon Levy. The State Department highlighted:

David Chai Chasday: Instigator and leader of a riot resulting in the burning of a vehicle and a building, damage to Huwara property, and deaths of Palestinian citizens.

Eynan Tangi: Attacked farmers in Palestine and Israel, causing injuries requiring medical treatment.

Shalom Zecherman: Documented attacks on Israeli activists and vehicles in the West Bank, attempting to smash car windows, and injuring at least two activists.

Johann Levi: Led a group of settlers in attacking peaceful Palestinians and the impoverished, setting fire to their land and destroying their property.

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated, “Israel must do more to stop violence against West Bank citizens and hold those responsible accountable.”

“The U.S. will continue taking steps to achieve its foreign policy goals, including the viability of a two-state solution, ensuring the safety and security of both Israelis and Palestinians,” he added.

Biden and other senior U.S. officials consistently warned Israel to take measures to halt violence from Israeli settlements against Palestinians in the West Bank. This issue was directly addressed with NATO as Biden seeks to address the two-state solution between Israel and Palestine post the Gaza conflict.

Biden's order - Netanyahu's office considered US actions unnecessary
Netanyahu’s office deemed the U.S. action unnecessary

Netanyahu’s office deemed the U.S. action unnecessary, stating, “Israel consistently takes action against all violations of the law, so there is no need for extraordinary measures in this regard.”

The West Bank, where Palestinians seek statehood alongside Gaza, has experienced increased violence amid a growing Jewish population and a nearly decade-long impasse in the U.S.-backed peace process.

Since Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in 1967, Palestinians consider it the core of their independent state. However, many countries deem Israeli settlements there illegal, while Israel cites historical and biblical claims to the land.

The leader of the far-right, pro-settlement “Religious Zionism” party responded to Biden’s order, calling the campaign of ‘settler violence’ an anti-Semitic lie spread by Israel’s enemies.

In December, the U.S. initiated visa denials for individuals involved in violence in Israel’s West Bank.

In a separate development, the enclave’s health ministry reported that on October 7, Hamas destroyed 1,200 lives, took 253 hostages, triggering Israeli offensives, and resulting in over 27,000 casualties, with more dead buried under rubble.

We ask you to continue to spread the truth with us. The world needs to know what is happening in the Middle East.

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