‘Serious Rights Abuses’ – EU, US Sanction Extremist Jewish Settlers and Groups 

Illegal Jewish settlers escorted by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via WAFA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Amongst the prominent far-right individuals targeted is Ben Zion Gopstein, who “advises National Security Minister Ben-Gvir on police matters”.

The European Union as well as the United States have imposed sanctions against extremist Jewish settlers and organizations in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, citing serious human rights abuses against Palestinians.

Amongst the prominent far-right individuals targeted are Ben Zion Gopstein and the Lehava group, of which he is the founder and leader. Gopstein, according to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, “advises National Security Minister Ben-Gvir on police matters” and was “convicted earlier this year of incitement to racism.”

The EU on Friday listed “four persons and two entities” under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

“The listed individuals and entities are responsible for serious human rights abuses against Palestinians, including torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and for the violation of right to property and to private and family life of Palestinians in the West Bank,” the EU Council said in a statement.

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The entities listed by the EU are Lehava, “a radical right-wing Jewish supremacist group”, and Hilltop Youth, “a radical youth group consisting of members known for violent acts against Palestinians and their villages in the West Bank.”

Two leading figures of Hilltop Youth, Meir Ettinger and Elisha Yered, are also listed. Both were involved in deadly attacks against Palestinians in 2015 and 2023, the statement said.

Yered “previously served as an assistant to Knesset member Limor Son Har-Melech of the Otzma Yehudit party,” according to the Haaretz report.

The EU also sanctioned Neria Ben Pazi, who has “been accused of repeatedly attacking Palestinians in Wadi Seeq and in Deir Jarir since 2021,” as well as Yinon Levi, “who has taken part in multiple violent acts against neighbouring villages from his residence in the Mitarim farm illegal outpost.”

Asset Freeze

Those listed under the sanctions regime are subject to an asset freeze, and the provision of funds or economic resources, directly or indirectly, to them or for their benefit, is prohibited. Additionally, a travel ban to the EU applies to those listed.

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The EU condemned “extremist settler violence” and called for “an immediate halt to violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and for safe access to the Holy sites to be ensured.”

“The European Council also condemned the Israeli government’s decisions to further expand illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank and urged Israel to reverse these decisions,” the statement said.

‘Destabilizing Violence’

The US specifically listed Gopstein and described his organization as one “whose members have engaged in destabilizing violence affecting the West Bank.”

“Under Gopstein’s leadership, Lehava and its members have been involved in acts or threats of violence against Palestinians, often targeting sensitive or volatile areas,” the US State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement added that concurrently, the Department of the Treasury is designating two entities, “Mount Hebron Fund and Shlom Asiraich, for their roles in establishing fundraising campaigns on behalf of two U.S. designated-extremists who engaged in violent activities, Yinon Levi and David Chai Chasdai, respectively.”

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The State Department said it was “deeply concerned” about the escalation of violence in the West Bank in recent days and “call on Israel to take all appropriate measures to prevent attacks by violent extremist settlers and hold those responsible accountable.”

“The United States will not hesitate to take additional steps to promote accountability if necessary,” the statement added.

Setter Mob Attacks

In the past week, at least eight Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank following multiple attacks by armed Jewish settlers, at times accompanied by Israeli forces, on towns in the West Bank.

In addition, the Israeli military conducted raids into several towns in the occupied territory, resulting in clashes with resistance fighters and the arrests of several Palestinians.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report earlier this week said violent settler attacks in the West Bank have displaced people from 20 communities and uprooted at least seven communities since October 7.

The organization said that the Israeli military either participated in those attacks or did not protect Palestinians from them.

“Settlers and soldiers have displaced entire Palestinian communities, destroying every home, with the apparent backing of higher Israeli authorities,” said Bill Van Esveld, associate children’s rights director at HRW in a report on Wednesday. “

While the attention of the world is focused on Gaza, abuses in the West Bank, fueled by decades of impunity and complacency among Israel’s allies, are soaring.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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2 Comments

  1. Only because we’re nearing (S)election time. or, as we call it, Hobson’s Choice.
    Idiot 1…
    or,
    Idiot 2?
    ABSTAIN! don’t vote. see how the selection is made anyway, without you.

  2. The EU is giving them a firm beating with an ostrich-feather brush. These settlers are terrorists by any non-racist non-bigoted definition of terrorism available. As indeed is their supporters, the IDF. If the EU wants to be seen as having any interest in justice, it’ll forget the feather duster and use a sledgehammer instead.

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