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  • Monday, 26 February 2024
The UK sanctions Israeli settlers for West Bank violence

The UK sanctions Israeli settlers for West Bank violence


The United Kingdom has taken a decisive step in response to escalating tensions in the occupied West Bank, imposing sanctions on four Israeli settlers accused of perpetrating violence against Palestinians. The announcement by the Foreign Office signifies a notable stance against purported human rights violations and unlawful behavior attributed to specific individuals residing in Israeli settlements.


The decision to enact financial and travel restrictions on these settlers comes amidst a surge in violence following the onset of the Gaza conflict. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has witnessed a distressing escalation in clashes, resulting in casualties on both sides. According to the United Nations, at least 384 Palestinians and 10 Israelis, including security personnel, have lost their lives in conflict-related incidents.


Settlements and outposts, constructed by Israeli administrations since the West Bank's occupation in 1967, remain a divisive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While the international community widely regards these settlements as illegal under international law, Israel and the United States dispute this perspective.


The UK Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, condemned the actions of the sanctioned settlers, describing their behavior as illegal and unacceptable. He emphasized the need for Israel to take stronger action to halt settler violence, which he asserted undermines security and stability for both Israelis and Palestinians.


Among the individuals targeted by the UK sanctions are Moshe Sharvit, accused of threatening, harassing, and assaulting Palestinian shepherds and their families in the Jordan Valley. Yinon Levy, the leader of an outpost farm, has been sanctioned for allegedly using violence and property destruction to displace Palestinian communities.


Zvi Bar Yosef, another sanctioned individual, is accused of orchestrating systematic intimidation and violence through an outpost, as reported by local Palestinian residents. The fourth individual, Ely Federman, has been implicated in multiple incidents against Palestinian shepherds in the South Hebron Hills.


The UK's move aligns with recent actions taken by the United States, which approved sanctions on Israeli settlers accused of similar attacks. Both nations have emphasized the need for accountability and urged Israel to address settler violence promptly.


In response to these sanctions, Israel signaled its dissatisfaction with a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office describing the majority of West Bank settlers as law-abiding and asserting that Israel takes action against all law-breakers. However, the UK and US maintain that targeted measures are necessary to address the ongoing challenges and promote peace in the region.


The imposition of sanctions by the UK underscores the international community's growing concern over the situation in the West Bank and its commitment to upholding human rights and the rule of law. As tensions persist, efforts towards de-escalation and dialogue remain imperative to achieving a lasting and equitable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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