The US bans the entry of Israeli settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank

The United States announced Tuesday that it has banned “radical” Israeli settlers responsible for violent attacks on the Palestinian population in the occupied West Bank from entering the country. The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkendetailed in a statement that the administration of Joe Biden has decided to restrict visas to people “involved in undermining peace, security or stability in the West Bank” and their family members.

The US diplomacy chief cited settler violence and attempts to restrict West Bank Palestinians’ access to essential services. “We have emphasized to the Israeli government that radical settlers who have carried out violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank must be held accountable,” Blinken said.

The State Department did not disclose the number or identities of the settlers who were banned from entering the United States.

The occupied West Bank is experiencing its greatest spiral of violence since the Second Intifada (2000-2005) and in 2023 467 Palestinians have already died, most of them militiamen in armed clashes with Israeli troops and attackers, but also civilians, including more than 300,000 Palestinians Minors. The situation worsened after Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, which broke out on October 7, and since then 259 Palestinians in the West Bank (including more than 65 minors) have died in violence, nine of them in settler attacks, including one Child .

On October 25, Biden said he was “concerned” about settler attacks on Palestinians and called on them to immediately stop their attacks. “They attack Palestinians in places where they have a right to do so. You have to stop, take responsibility and stop now,” he said in a press conference.

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In Tuesday’s statement, Binken called for those responsible for “all acts of violence against civilians in the West Bank to be held accountable, regardless of the perpetrator or victim.” He also spoke about the situation in Gaza, emphasizing that the United States has “made it clear” to Israel that it must take measures to protect civilians in the Palestinian enclave. At the same time, Blinken added, Washington wants the Palestinian Authority to “do more to stop Palestinian attacks on Israelis.”

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