The report says those who persecute Palestinians may soon face visa bans and other penalties
US President Joe Biden has ordered his administration to establish a sanctions schedule against Israelis who attack or harass Palestinians in the West Bank, Politico reported on Saturday, citing a classified document.
The Cabinet memo was read to the outlet by a senior US official. It has been sent to senior officials in the Biden administration, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, to guide their departments. “To develop political options to take swift action against those responsible for committing acts of violence in the West Bank.” The list of potential restrictions is said to include visa bans.
The United States may specifically impose restrictions on persons who “They engaged directly or indirectly in actions or policies that threaten the security and stability of the West Bank.” According to what was mentioned in the document, those who participated in intimidating or displacing civilians there. It is claimed that other grounds for sanctions could include human rights violations and acts that may lead to a violation of human rights “Hinder, disrupt, or significantly prevent efforts to achieve a two-state solution.”
The alleged order comes from an op-ed Biden wrote for The Washington Post on Saturday, which saw the president affirm his commitment to a two-state solution, which lays the foundation for peaceful coexistence between the two entities.
While Biden refrained from calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, he wrote that he opposes any forced displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, its reoccupation or siege by Israeli forces. He also indicated that he told West Jerusalem about this “Extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank must stop.”
To punish those involved in these activities, Washington is ready “Takes [its] “Special steps, including issuing a visa ban against extremists attacking civilians in the West Bank.” he added.
Israel began establishing settlements in the Palestinian territories after the 1967 Six-Day War, when it seized parts of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. A large part of the international community considers the settlements illegal, and even Israel itself considers some settlement outposts illegal. According to UN data, as of March 2023, there were about 700,000 settlers living in 279 settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with the number rising in previous years.
Tensions between settlers and Palestinians led to repeated acts of violence. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has recorded an average of seven settler-related incidents per day since the Hamas attack on October 7.
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