Middle east

Biden Administration prepares to impose sanctions on Israeli Army Officers 

The US administration accuses elements of the Israeli army of failing to enforce the law against settler violence against Palestinian residents in the West Bank

The American administration intends to impose sanctions on individuals in the Israeli army, including officers, for failing to enforce the law against settler violence against Palestinian residents in the West Bank, according to reports from Hebrew media. This comes after American concerns about an imminent Israeli ground operation in Rafah.

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation (official) stated that the American administration “is preparing to impose sanctions on soldiers in the Israeli army in the West Bank, according to an internal report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tel Aviv,” explaining that “the imposition of sanctions will include soldiers and leaders in the army if the Military Prosecutor’s Office fails to provide answers to a series of questions and demands within less than 60 days, regarding settler violence in the West Bank.”

It pointed out that the administration of US President Joe Biden “has warned Israel several times about not enforcing the law against settler violence against Palestinians, but Tel Aviv’s response has not been satisfactory.”

According to the Broadcasting Corporation, Israel takes Biden administration threats “seriously,” as the government is preparing for the possibility of expanding sanctions to include officials in the army and members of the Knesset (Parliament) and ministers. It is expected that “a ministerial discussion on this issue will take place in cooperation with the Military Prosecutor’s Office to determine how to avoid expanding the matter,” according to the official agency.

On January 1st of last year, Biden signed a new executive order allowing for sanctions on Israeli settlers who attack Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, as well as placing four of them on the blacklist.

Two senior officials in the Biden administration, speaking to the media on condition of anonymity, said that “the new executive order signed by Biden prohibits the four Israeli settlers (whose names or positions were not mentioned) from accessing the US financial system, freezes any assets they have in the United States, and prohibits Americans in general from dealing with them (by funding them or contributing funds to them),” according to the same source.

These measures come at a time when settler violence against Palestinians in various parts of the West Bank has escalated significantly in recent months amid Israel’s ongoing war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Israeli peace movement estimates that more than 700,000 settlers reside in settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The United Nations and most of the international community consider Israeli settlement in the territories occupied in 1967 to be illegal, and call on Israel to stop it to no avail, warning that it undermines the prospects for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict according to the principle of a “two-state solution.”

Since October 7th, 2023, Israel has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip, leaving tens of thousands of civilian casualties, mostly children and women, as well as an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and massive infrastructure destruction, leading Tel Aviv to face the International Court of Justice to be tried for “genocide” for the first time in its history.

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