UK slaps sanctions on 'extremist' Israeli settlers in occupied West Bank
Extremist settlers' actions 'illegal, unacceptable,' as they threaten Palestinians, says UK foreign minister, saying Israel must put stop to settler violence
By Aysu Bicer
LONDON (AA) — The UK on Monday announced sanctions targeting extremist Israeli settlers amid escalating violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
"Today’s sanctions place restrictions on those involved in some of the most egregious abuses of human rights. We should be clear about what is happening here," Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a statement.
"Extremist Israeli settlers are threatening Palestinians, often at gunpoint, and forcing them off land that is rightfully theirs," he said.
"This behaviour is illegal and unacceptable. Israel must also take stronger action and put a stop to settler violence. Too often, we see commitments made and undertakings given, but not followed through," he added.
The sanctions, which entail financial penalties and travel restrictions, are designed to combat the persistent wave of settler violence in the occupied West Bank, where tensions have risen since Israel launched a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip.
Among the individuals targeted by the sanctions are Moshe Sharvit and Yinon Levy, both of whom have been implicated in violent attacks against Palestinians.
According to the statement, their actions, which include physical aggression, threats made at gunpoint, and deliberate destruction of property, have fueled tensions and perpetuated fear among Palestinian communities.
"One illegal outpost, set up by Zvi Bar Yosef, has been described by local Palestinian residents as a "source of systematic intimidation and violence," it added.
While the world’s attention is focused on Gaza, where Israel's assault since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas have killed at least 27,947 Palestinians and led to a humanitarian catastrophe, violence in the occupied WestBank has grown.
More than 388 Palestinians have been killed, and 4,450 others were injured by Israeli army fire and in attacks by illegal Jewish settlers since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian figures.
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