Germany says it is pushing EU to weigh imposing sanctions on extremist settlers

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks during a news conference in Jerusalem during her two day visit, Feb. 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks during a news conference in Jerusalem during her two day visit, Feb. 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says Berlin is pushing the European Union to examine sanctions against extremist settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank — after France, the US and Britain imposed similar sanctions.

“Let’s agree on sanctions together in Europe. For this, we need all 27 member states. We, as Germans, have pushed this on the European path,” she says during a news conference in Jerusalem, adding that in the Schengen free movement zone, national entry bans could only take effect if they are enacted by the entire bloc.

Baerbock also says that an IDF ground incursion on Rafah in southern Gaza would be a humanitarian catastrophe: “1.3 million people are waiting there in a very small space. They don’t really have anywhere else to go right now… If the Israeli army were to launch an offensive on Rafah under these conditions, it would be a humanitarian catastrophe.”

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