EU to sanction Israeli settlers, Israeli Finance Minister objects

EU foreign policy chief says bloc reached 'political agreement' to sanction extremist Israeli settlers. Israeli side response by planing to "entrench settlers."

Publication: 19.03.2024 - 12:12
EU to sanction Israeli settlers, Israeli Finance Minister objects
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Israel’s finance minister slammed an agreement by the European Union on Monday to impose sanctions on Israeli settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank, saying the proper response is to expand settlement activity there.

Bezalel Smotrich, widely known for his anti-Palestinian remarks, claimed the EU’s decision is a result of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, referring to the international pro-Palestine movement that calls for boycotting Israel at all levels, the Times of Israel news website reported.

Smotrich claimed that any violence by settlers "is dealt with by the Israeli justice system."

"There is one holistic Zionist response to this (EU) declaration – strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel," he said in reference to Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank.

On Monday evening, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the European Union had reached a "political agreement" to sanction extremist Israeli settlers.

Borrell said a “solid compromise” had been agreed upon “at the working level” and that he hoped it would be “fully adopted soon.”

Since the start of the Israeli onslaught against Gaza on October 7, Israeli settlers across the occupied West Bank have intensified their assaults against Palestinians and their properties under the watch of Israeli forces.

According to Palestinian figures, about 725,000 settlers live in 176 Jewish-only settlements and 186 outposts in the occupied West Bank.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.

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