U.S. Announces Visa Ban On Extremist Israeli Settlers

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Robert McGreevy Contributor
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President Joe Biden’s administration is preparing to issue visa bans on Israeli settlers who are engaging in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, according to an announcement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“Today, the State Department is implementing a new visa restriction policy targeting individuals believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security, or stability in the West Bank, including through committing acts of violence or taking other actions that unduly restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities,” Blinken declared in a State Department press release.

The statement noted the importance of engaging with both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank. “Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have the responsibility to uphold stability in the West Bank,” the release reads, calling on Israel to “take additional measures to protect Palestinian civilians from extremist attacks.”

Family members of these “extremist settlers” could also be subject to restrictions, Blinken noted. (RELATED: ‘No Ceasefire, No Votes’: Biden Could Lose Key Swing States In 2024 Amid Left-Wing Backlash On Gaza)

Biden previously floated the idea of issuing visa bans to settlers in a Washington Post op-ed in November.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly asked about the visa ban at a press conference on Tuesday. Israeli President Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant both responded, blaming “settler violence” on a tiny group of extremists and assuring reporters that Israel is working to combat the issue, according to the Crisis Group’s senior Israeli analyst Mairav Zonszein.