US sanctions three Jewish men, two outposts in Judea, Samaria

US sanctions three Jewish men, two outposts in Judea, Samaria

Washington announced sanctions against three more Jewish men in Judea and Samaria who it accused of undermining “peace, security and stability in the West Bank.”

In the Thursday announcement, the Biden administration said the three “undermine the national security and foreign-policy objectives of the United States, including the viability of a two-state solution, ensuring Israelis and Palestinians can attain equal measures of security, prosperity and freedom, and reducing the risk of regional destabilization.”

Recent polling suggests that most Israelis reject a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish one in exchange for ending the war with Hamas and normalizing with Saudi Arabia.

Washington alleged that Zvi Bar Yosef “engaged in repeated violence and attempts to engage in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank” from a farm that he owns and “prevents local Palestinian farmers from accessing and using their lands.”

The Biden administration accused Moshe Sharvit, who also owns a farm, of having “repeatedly harassed, threatened and attacked Palestinian civilians and Israeli human-rights defender.”

It also said that Sharvit “issued a threat against the residents of the Palestinian village of Ein Shibli, and while armed, ordered them to leave their homes,” resulting “in up to 100 Palestinian civilians fleeing their village in fear for their lives.”

Bar Yosef’s and Sharvit’s farms are also mentioned in the U.S. designation on Thursday. During a press call on Thursday, John Kirby, White House national security communications advisor, first said, “The outposts themselves are not what is being sanctioned.” Moments later, he clarified that the outposts are being designated “due to their ownership or control by designated individuals.”

Washington also accused Neriya Ben Pazi of having “expelled Palestinian shepherds from hundreds of acres of land” and, in August, of having been part of a group that “attacked Palestinians near the village of Wadi as-Seeq.”

The sanctions that Washington imposed mean that property belonging to the three in the United States or possessed by Americans must be reported to the U.S. Treasury Department.

“Since the horrific terrorist attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, violence in the West Bank has increased sharply,” said Matthew Miller, the U.S. State Department spokesman. “Extremist settler violence against Palestinian and Israeli civilians and forced displacement of farmers and villages is a serious threat to the peace, security and stability of West Bank, Israel and the broader region.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has condemned reports of growing “settler violence” as an antisemitic “blood libel” and “a lie disconnected from reality.”

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