WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has approved sanctions on four Israeli settlers in response to the escalating violence in the occupied West Bank. The executive order, signed by Mr. Biden, aims to target individuals accused of attacking Palestinians, as well as to address the growing threat to peace, security, and stability in the region.
The sanctions block the four individuals from accessing any US property, assets, or the American financial system as the violence in the West Bank has reached “intolerable levels,” according to the President. The move comes as violence in the region has surged since an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israel in October, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli settlers.
The executive order is an escalation of the visa restrictions imposed last year and reflects Mr. Biden’s efforts to address the ongoing conflict between Israeli settlers and Palestinians. The President has previously raised concerns with Israel about the violence by settlers and has emphasized the need to hold individuals accountable for their actions.
The Arab American Institute has noted a significant decline in support for the Democratic Party among Arab Americans since the start of the conflict, highlighting the impact of the ongoing violence on political dynamics in the US.
The US Treasury has named the four Israeli settlers targeted by the sanctions, and it is emphasized that these sanctions are non-discriminatory and apply to both Israelis and Palestinians involved in violent acts or threats against civilians. The move signals the Biden administration’s commitment to addressing the violence and instability in the West Bank, as well as its willingness to hold individuals accountable for their actions.
The deepening public rift between the US and Israel is evident in Israel’s response to the executive order, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office expressing dissatisfaction and describing the majority of West Bank settlers as “law-abiding.” This response reflects ongoing disagreements between the US and Israeli governments, particularly regarding the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
The differing perspectives on the “two-state solution” underscore the challenges in achieving long-term stability and peace in the region. Despite the ongoing conflict, the Biden administration remains committed to addressing the root causes of the violence and advocating for diplomatic negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.