Foreign office sanctions settlers accused of violence against Palestinians

Lord Cameron said that the actions of the men were ‘illegal and unacceptable’


PRISTINA, KOSOVO - JANUARY 4: British Foreign Secretary David Cameron meets British troops, part of the NATO-led peacekeeping mission on January 4, 2024 in Pristina, Kosovo. In 2023, the UK announced the deployment of 200 additional soldiers to NATO's peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, joining the 400-strong British contingent that were already in country as part of an annual exercise. (Photo by Valdrin Xhemaj - Pool/Getty Images)

The Foreign Office has announced it is joining with the United States in sanctioning Israeli settlers accused of violent attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank.

Calling the actions of the settlers “illegal and unacceptable”,  Foreign Secretary Lord Camerons said: “Today’s sanctions place restrictions on those involved in some of the most egregious abuses of human rights. We should be clear about what is happening here. Extremist Israeli settlers are threatening Palestinians, often at gunpoint, and forcing them off land that is rightfully theirs.

"This behaviour is illegal and unacceptable. Israel must also take stronger action and put a stop to settler violence. Too often, we see commitments made and undertakings given, but not followed through.

“Extremist settlers, by targeting and attacking Palestinian civilians, are undermining security and stability for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Moshe Sharvit, Yinon Levy, Zvi Bar Yosef and Ely Federman are all accused of harassing and assaulting Palestinians across the West Bank. The government cited incidents including in October 2023, when Sharvit attacked residents of a Palestinian community, telling them they had five hours to leave their community.

The four men listed are now subject to a freeze on UK assets as well as a travel and visa ban to the United Kingdom.

A statement from Foreign Office officials said: “Israel’s failure to act has led to an environment of near total impunity for settler extremists in the West Bank.

Adding: “The measures taken today are part of wider UK efforts to support a more stable West Bank, which is vital for the peace and security of both Palestinians and Israelis. The UK will consider additional actions, including further sanctions, as necessary.”

Last week, Yinon Levi, who is on both the UK and US sanctions list had his Israeli bank accounts frozen, by one of the country’s largest financial institutions, Bank Leumi.

The move came after US President Joe Biden issued an executive order sanctioning "persons undermining peace, security and stability in the West Bank," citing "high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages and property destruction."

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich blasted the US measures as an "absurd order without justification" and vowed to "make sure that banks do not harm the citizens of Israel." The Jewish state is "not a banana republic of the United States," added the finance minister.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive