ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 144

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US announces visa ban on settler extremists, says Israel must do more

The State Department announces travel bans on extremist Jewish settlers implicated in a rash of recent attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken does not announce individuals named under the visa bans, but officials said those would be coming this week and could affect dozens of settlers and their families.

“We have underscored to the Israeli government the need to do more to hold accountable extremist settlers who have committed violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank,” Blinken says in a statement. “As President Biden has repeatedly said, those attacks are unacceptable.”

“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 says.

He says the US would continue to seek accountability for settler violence against Palestinians as well as Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and Israel, particularly as tensions are extremely high due to the conflict in Gaza.

“Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have the responsibility to uphold stability in the West Bank,” Blinken says. “Instability in the West Bank both harms the Israeli and Palestinian people and threatens Israel’s national security interests.”

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