American settlers in the West Bank face fines due to violence

Sanctions on four Israeli settlers who are allegedly attacking Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have been approved by US President Joe Biden. Citing “intolerable levels” of violence in the West Bank, Mr. Biden signed a wide executive order. The people are prohibited from using any US assets, property, or the US financial system as a result of the sanctions. Since Hamas began an unprecedented onslaught on Israel on October 7, there has been an increase in violence in the West Bank. Since then, the UN estimates that 370 Palestinians have died in the West Bank. According to the UN, at least eight of the victims were killed by Israeli settlers, while the bulk were slain by Israeli soldiers.

 

According to the new executive order, any foreign national who attacks threatens, or seizes the property of a Palestinian is subject to sanctions by the US government. As Mr. Biden visits Michigan, a state with a sizable Arab-American community that has criticized his backing for Israel, the US administration is enacting its first-ever penalties against Israelis. An advocacy group called the Arab American Institute reported earlier that Arab Americans’ support for the Democratic Party has fallen from 59% in 2020 to only 17% after the conflict began.

 

A senior Biden administration official stated on Thursday that the president had brought up the issue of settlers’ violence with Israel on several occasions. The executive order, which is more stringent than the visa restrictions it placed on a subset of people last year, lays out the framework for how the US will react to any additional attacks in the West Bank. In a letter to Congress outlining his thinking, Mr. Biden stated that “the situation in the West Bank – in particular high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages, and property destruction – has reached intolerable levels and constitutes a serious threat to the peace, security, and stability” of the area.

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