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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

France Proposes EU Sanctions on Israeli Settlers


Thu 30 Nov 2023 | 10:13 AM
Israa Farhan

On Wednesday, France suggested that the European Union should consider imposing sanctions on Israeli settlers who target Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

This proposal comes as the EU discussions on imposing sanctions on Hamas leaders are making progress.

United Nations figures show that daily attacks by settlers have more than doubled since Hamas launched its surprise attack on Israel on October 7, followed by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in West Bank violence this year, including during settler attacks.

Anne-Claire Legendre, spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry, stated in a weekly press briefing, "We believe the international community has a role to play in ending these acts of violence, which significantly destabilize the region and harm the prospects of a two-state solution."

She mentioned that no options are off the table, including the EU imposing sanctions on individuals who perpetrate violence.

A French diplomatic source said Paris supports EU sanctions, but discussions within the bloc have not yet begun on the matter.

The US has expressed willingness to ban visas for "extremists" attacking civilians in the West Bank.

However, a European diplomat warned that some EU countries are not keen on this idea, although France is eager to push it forward.

Despite certain EU member states opposing specific proposed actions against Hamas, efforts to target settlers might convince the skeptics that the approach is balanced.

Legendre also noted progress in Brussels talks to impose sanctions on Hamas leaders, including asset freezes and travel bans.

Efforts are underway with European and other allies to cut off funding to Hamas, including through the "No Money for Terrorism" platform, a specialized coalition established in 2018 to combat terrorist financing.

On November 13, France imposed national sanctions targeting Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif and his deputy Marwan Issa. 

Two diplomats stated that the goal is to add them to the EU’s terrorist sanctions list by mid-December. 

They added that other individuals are being considered, but legal files will take more time to prepare.