Netanyahu slams Biden’s ‘anti-settler’ sanctions that ‘harm law-abiding citizens’

The US State Department ordered the freezing of bank accounts of four individuals in Judea and Samaria it considers guilty of anti-Palestinian violence.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

In a press conference on Wednesday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized US President Joe Biden’s executive order to sanction those the State Department considered “extremist” settlers over accusations of violent behavior against Palestinians.

The Biden Administration singled out four individuals in Judea and Samaria it considered dangerous, and as a result, Israeli banks, including Leumi and the government-owned Postal Bank, froze their accounts.

Netanyahu criticized Biden’s order and said, “This order is a very severe and inappropriate thing which harms an entire population of law-abiding citizens, among whom are soldiers who fell in the fight to eliminate Hamas.”

He added, “If they were using it equally- they would have imposed sanctions on Palestinians as well.”

The Prime Minister condemned the order immediately after Biden announced it last week, and said, “The overwhelming majority of residents in Judea and Samaria are law-abiding citizens, many of whom are currently fighting – as conscripts and reservists – to defend Israel.”

“Israel acts against all Israelis who break the law, everywhere; therefore, exceptional measures are unnecessary,” he added.

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The US State Department ordered the freezing of bank accounts of four individuals it suspects of anti-Palestinian violence in the region: Yinon Levi, Shalom Zicherman, David Chai Chasdai and Ainan Tanjil.

Yesterday, it was reported that Israel’s Bank Leumi froze the account of Yinon Levi in accordance with the executive order of US President Joe Biden to take harsh penalties against “setter violence” against Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

David Chai Chasdai is accused of leading a rampage in the village of Huwara in 2023 that ended in the death of a Palestinian resident.

Bank HaPoalim indicated that it would close the accounts of the other two men sanctioned by the US government.

Yinon Levi was accused of leading “a group of settlers who engaged in actions that created an atmosphere of fear in the territories.”

The accusation continues, “He regularly led groups of settlers to attack Palestinians and Bedouins, threatened them with further violence if they did not leave their homes, burned their fields and destroyed their property.”

Levi denied the accusation and criticized the US President, “Biden, who is unable to deal with the Houthis who are murdering American soldiers, does not scare us. We will continue to settle the Land of Israel without fear or fear.”