Settler lobby group blasts Biden over sanctions; Peace Now welcomes them with caveat

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Illustrative: Screenshot from a video of settlers firing at the West Bank village of Umm Safa on June 24, 2023. (Twitter video screenshot: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Illustrative: Screenshot from a video of settlers firing at the West Bank village of Umm Safa on June 24, 2023. (Twitter video screenshot: Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Yesha umbrella organization for West Bank settlement authorities slams the US decision to sanction two settlement outposts and three Israeli settlers as “outrageous” and alleges that the step is part of US President Joe Biden’s election campaign.

“Instead of fighting the roots of Palestinian terrorism, the US is choosing to give backing to terrorists and anarchists to continue to come and attack settlements around Judea and Samaria,” says Yesha chairman Shlomo Neeman, in reference to civil rights campaigners and pro-Palestinian activists who document settler violence in the West Bank.

The Peace Now organization, which campaigns against the settlement movement, welcomes the sanctions, however, saying, “The time has come for the criminals of the illegal outposts to pay for their violence and systematic criminal activity.”

The organization says that “violence against and displacement of Palestinians” has emanated from illegal West Bank outposts for years, and said that the Israeli government should now take action and begin to dismantle the dozens of illegal outposts around the territory.

And the Combatants for Peace organization, which campaigns against Israeli rule in the West Bank, says that the Israeli government and its citizens must soon chose “between continued control of another people through suppression in exchange for diplomatic and economic disaster, or giving up this control in exchange for peace and growth,” adding that “only a political agreement will bring about a solution.”

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