France joins US and UK in anti-settler sanctions

Israeli FM Israel Katz: ‘It is forbidden under any circumstances to compare and put the settlers in the same category Hamas.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Following the US and UK’s imposition of sanctions on certain residents of Judea and Samaria accused of violence against Palestinians, the French Foreign Ministry has drawn up a list of individuals upon whom it will impose financial and travel restrictions.

The US and the UK’s anti-settler sanctions included just 4 individuals, but France has identified 28 “extremist” settlers it says “are guilty of violence against the Palestinian population” in Judea and Samaria.

The announcement by the French Foreign Ministry didn’t mention the names of the sanctioned individuals.

The French Foreign Ministry Stephane Sejourne said in a statement, “These measures come as violence perpetrated by settlers against the Palestinian population has increased in recent months. France reaffirms its firm condemnation of this unacceptable violence.”

Sejourne met with Israel Foreign Minister Israel Katz and told him, “It is important that we talk about the radicalization of extremist settlers who fuel some of our concerns.”

Katz cautioned Sejourne, “It is forbidden under any circumstances to compare and put the settlers in the same category Hamas.”

“The State of Israel is a state of law and it will be enforced against anyone who violates the law,” he added.

The US initiated the anti-settler sanctions naming four individuals it claimed were guilty of violence against Palestinians.

Shortly after the US announcement, the Bank of Israel said that it wouldn’t interfere with the freezing of Israeli accounts of the individuals sanctioned by the US.

As a result, Bank Leumi and the Postal Bank froze the accounts of the people who were on the US sanctions list, even though Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich urged the Bank of Israel not to allow these accounts to be frozen.

On Monday, the British Foreign Office announced sanctions against four settlers for allegedly violating “human rights of Palestinian communities” in Judea and Samaria.

Some in the European Union are proposing a “black list of settlers” who will be restricted from traveling anywhere in the European Union, although such a proposal would need the unanimous approval of all 27 member states.