Smotrich vows to ‘fight with all our might’ against US sanctions on individual West Bank settlers

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich pledges to “fight with all our might” and not “let up” until all Western sanctions against West Bank settlers are lifted.

Addressing the press ahead of his Religious Zionism party’s weekly faction meeting in the Knesset, Smotrich complains of “unprecedented sanctions on Israeli citizens whose entire sin is that they settle in Judea and Samaria and guard the lands of our country.”

“We will not agree to this and will fight with all our might against it,” he says.

The US and several European nations have imposed sanctions on individual settlers accused of engaging in violence against Palestinians.

“I am happy to inform you that thanks to my insistence and unequivocal demand together with the prime minister and Minister [of Strategic Affairs Ron] Dermer, the American government has delivered a letter that dramatically reduces the sanctions that have been taken and allows the banks to release the settlers’ bank accounts that were completely frozen,” he continues.

“It’s still not enough, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction and we won’t let up until all the sanctions are lifted.”

Last week, the US informed Israel that its sanctions were not intended to compel Israeli banks to close the accounts of targeted individuals.

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