U.S. Imposes Sanctions to Israeli Settlers
The Biden administration has imposed sanctions on four Israeli settlers for threatening U.S. ‘national security and foreign policy interests’. The announcement on Thursday comes as President Joe Biden faces mounting pressure over his unwavering support for Israel’s war on Gaza as he campaigns for re-election in November.
The sanctions target Israeli settlers David Chai Chasdai, Einan Tanjil, and Yinon Levi, who are accused of assaulting and intimidating Palestinians. The sanctions will freeze the individuals’ assets in the United States and restrict financial transactions with them.
The four settlers are held responsible for actions including leading a riot that involved setting vehicles and buildings on fire, assaulting civilians and causing property damage last year. It is claimed that their actions resulted in the death of a Palestinian civilian.
Earlier, Axios reported that the Biden administration considered sanctioning ultranationalist government ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich but ultimately decided against it.
White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Thursday, “There are no plans to target Israeli government officials with sanctions at this time,” adding that the U.S. informed the Israeli government of the sanctions before announcing them.
The White House also issued a new decree punishing perpetrators of “extremist settler violence” in the West Bank. In a statement, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that settler violence “poses a grave threat to peace, security, and stability in the West Bank, Israel, and the Middle East region, as well as threatens the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States”.
The sanction coincides with Biden’s visit to Michigan, a Midwestern swing state with a sizable Arab American population, on Thursday.