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Biden to sign order sanctioning Israelis caught in West Bank violence

The executive order will sanction "extremist actors" involved in threats or violence against civilians in the West Bank.
Biden to sign order sanctioning Israelis caught in West Bank violence
Posted at 12:00 PM, Feb 01, 2024

President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Thursday that sanctions Israeli settlers who are involved in violence in the West Bank. 

The executive order is meant to quell fears of a widening war in the Middle East as Israel has continued its four-month-long offensive in Gaza following Hamas' deadly terrorist attack against Israel. 

The executive order will target those "engaged in actions that include the directing or participating in acts or threats of violence against civilians, intimidating civilians to cause them to leave their homes, destroying or seizing property, and acts of terrorism," the White House said. 

Senior administration officials said the U.S. supports Israel's right to defend itself, but President Biden has expressed concerns to Israeli leaders about the rise in violence in the West Bank by "extremist actors."

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"These actions pose a grave threat to peace, security, stability in the West Bank, Israel, and the Middle East region," a senior administration official said. "They also obstruct the realization of ultimately an independent Palestinian state, existing side by side with the state of Israel. And by extension, the enduring peace and stability for Palestinians and Israelis alike." 

The executive order means that Israelis involved in violence in the West Bank will remove their access to U.S. financial systems. 

President Biden and the U.S. have remained among Israel's strongest allies as much of the international community has expressed concerns over Israel's continued offensive in Gaza. The overwhelming majority of Gaza's 2 million residents have been displaced and the United Nations says many Gazans lack access to reliable food and water sources. 

Reporting by Scripps News White House reporter Haley Bull was used in this report.

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