For the First Time, Canada Sanctions Israeli Settlers Who Attack Palestinians in the West Bank


For the first time the Canadian government will impose sanctions on four Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. This was when settler violence against Palestinians increased during Israel’s war in Gaza.

Launching Al Jazeera, Saturday (18/5/1014), Canada’s Ministry of Global Affairs said that for the first time they had sanctioned Israeli settlers for acts of violence and destabilization against Palestinians.

Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers – a long-standing source of tension and conflict in the region – have increased alarmingly in recent months,” the ministry said.

“This has undermined Palestinian human rights, prospects for a two-state solution, and posed significant risks to regional security,” he said.

The settlers targeted were David Chai Chasdai, Yinon Levi, Zvi Bar Yosef, and Moshe Sharvit. The ministry stated that the four were involved directly or indirectly in violence against Palestinian civilians and property.

The sanctions were announced amid Israel’s refusal to halt escalating settler attacks, at a time when Western countries have long supported a two-state solution.

However, Western countries have had few consequences for the continued expansion of Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land in the West Bank. The settlements are illegal under international law.

In February, the United States announced it would sanction a handful of Israeli settlers, including Chasdai and Levi, for attacks on Palestinians.

This move enabled a broader US campaign to put pressure on the settler movement. However, President Joe Biden’s administration is currently limiting sanctions to just a handful of individuals.

The US has rejected calls to sanction right-wing Israeli ministers, such as National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, but more limited sanctions against settlers have raised the ire of Israeli officials.

Since the start of Israel’s war on Gaza, settler attacks on Palestinians have increased. The attacks are often under the watchful eye of Israeli forces who take little action against the perpetrators.

This week, a group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian truck driver in the West Bank under the mistaken assumption that he was delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

According to Israeli human rights group B’tselem, which says Israel’s policies in the occupied territories constitute a crime of apartheid, only 3 percent of investigations into Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians result in convictions. Many of them go unreported.

Such apathy is not surprising for Palestinians, who view right-wing settlers and Israeli state policies as a concerted effort to displace Palestinians and encourage Jewish settlement in the occupied territories.

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