The US revokes visas of Jewish Israeli settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank

(Marcus Yam/Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

The US revokes visas of Jewish Israeli settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank

Tracy Wilkinson

Dec. 5, 2023

The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it was a ban


of Jewish Israeli settlers who do not want to travel to the US because of their involvement in brutal attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank



Ed Atto

driving force

nice people

from their houses and branch


their country away.

Extremist settlers suspected of violence who already have U.S. visas will find them revoked, and any application for a visa will be rejected, U.S. officials said. The measure is punitive: many settlers have family in the US and highly appreciate having a visa to travel there.

The settlers’ attacks are unacceptable, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in the announcement



We underscored to the Israeli government that more must be done to hold accountable extremist settlers who have committed violent attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, Blinken said in a statement.

U.S. officials said yes

we took this

action because Israel has largely failed to arrest, prosecute or punish settlers who have burned Palestinian homes and olive groves, stolen their sheep and shot members of Palestinian families.

The politically powerful settler bloc is part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government.

The Palestinian Authority, which nominally rules the West Bank, says 260 Palestinians have been killed there since October. 7 in different


to attack.

A number of Palestinians in the West Bank who have engaged in violence against Israelis will also be subject to the visa ban, US officials said. The number is smaller because Israel usually does that


to arrest


Palestinian perpetrators, while ignoring the Jewish settlers guilty of similar crimes,

The United States

officials said.

Palestinians view the West Bank as part of a future independent state. But settlers also lay claim to the land and have built communities and carved it up across the West Bank

Swiss cheese plate from

non-contiguous pieces that would make a coherent Palestinian state virtually impossible. The settlements are considered illegal under international law.

In Israel, the initial reaction to the visa ban was angry. Benny Gantz, a former opposition politician and now a member of the “war cabinet,” said at a news conference that the majority of settlers in the West Bank were a “law-abiding people” and that the violence was merely the work of one group. of extremists.

Even before Oct. Seven attacks in southern Israel by the militant group Hamas, which is the


During the two-month war in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were terrorized by settlers.

At the same time, the Israeli army carried out numerous raids on the West Bank, killing dozens of Palestinians, some civilians and civilians.


whom Israel claimed to be militants from various groups, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

It was the deadliest period for Palestinians since the second Intifada, or uprising, that began in 2000.

T Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations say t

The most insidious violence in the West Bank comes from the settlers, who act as vigilantes


with impunity,

often according to Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups. They trade often

under the protection of Israeli soldiers.

US officials have called the actions of settlers in the West Bank Jewish terrorism. They said they are confident they have enough evidence to decide which settlers to ban, even if they have not been before an Israeli court. Stability in the West Bank is essential, officials said, to prevent the current war from spreading beyond Gaza.

U.S. authorities will begin issuing the bans on Tuesday and more will follow in the coming days, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said. We expect this ultimate action to affect dozens of individuals and possibly their family members.

Blinken and others have repeatedly urged the Netanyahu government to crack down on stampeding settlers, but to no avail. Last week in Israel, Blinken told Netanyahu


that the US

would like

to implement the visa restriction measures regardless of what the Israeli government does

now in response


It remains to be seen what impact the measure will have. Israeli civilian and military authorities appear largely insensitive to US requests to minimize civilian casualties in the fighting


war and to allow access


to Gaza of food, medicine, water and fuel.

Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin


and Vice President Kamala Harris have repeatedly deplored the number of Palestinian deaths in Gaza in recent days and told Israel that the offensive launched this week in the southern half of the Gaza Strip should not duplicate the devastation of the barrage on the northern half to repeat.

But already, but

the death toll in southern Gaza, especially around the town of Khan Younis, is high


comparable to those of the first days of the northern offensive. Israel has ordered Gaza residents to flee south for safety and is now attacking the south

to where m M

More than a million people have already been displaced

to the south


Under pressure from the US, Israel agreed to establish ‘de-confliction zones’ (safe areas).

for what

Palestinian c




but the United Nations and other aid agencies say these areas are vastly overpopulated and suffer from lack of adequate food or water, and


not necessarily safe.

Israel also informs Gazans of neighborhoods that will be bombed so they can flee. But the notifications usually require

recipients they have access to

electricity or


internet connection is effective, and few Gazans have either, the UN. officials say.

Miller said it was too early to assess the number of civilian casualties in the south, but that “Israel is not doing enough” to ease the humanitarian siege.

Meanwhile, new attention is being paid to reports of rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas against Israeli women and girls. Hamas has said it has not used rape as a weapon of war, but the UN and Israel are collecting testimony from witnesses

that witch

describe numerous cases of sexual torture.

“In recent weeks, survivors and witnesses of the attacks have shared the horrific stories of unimaginable atrocities,” President Biden said on Tuesday. “Reports of women being repeatedly raped and their bodies mutilated while they were still alive, of female corpses being violated, while Hamas terrorists inflict as much pain and suffering on women and girls as possible and then kill them. It’s terrible.”

Biden said Hamas’ refusal to release a last batch of female hostages, aged between 20 and 39 and mostly civilians, caused the collapse of a fragile ceasefire last Friday, resulting in the freedom of about 100 hostages and a wave of humanitarian aid to Gaza. The fighting resumed immediately.

In addition to the hostage takings, the Hamas attacks on October 1, 2011. 7 killed 1,200 Israelis and foreigners, mostly civilians, Israel sa


while Israeli bombardments on the densely populated Gaza enclave have killed at least 16,000 people, according to Hamas-controlled Gaza


Ministry of Health.


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