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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - An Israeli settlement near the village of As-Sawiyah, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. — AFP pic
BERLIN, Dec 7 — Germany wants the European Union to consider sanctions on extremist Israeli settlers behind a wave of violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, a foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday.
In a rare concrete repercussion against Israelis, the US said Tuesday it would refuse visas for extremist Israeli settlers in response to violence in the West Bank since Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.
The German foreign ministry spokesman, Sebastian Fischer, on Wednesday said Berlin welcomed the fact that the US “will now take concrete measures in the form of entry restrictions”.
It was “important to drive this debate forward at European level too”, the spokesman said.
Berlin is “actively contributing” to discussions on the topic ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, he added.
In early November, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo called on the EU to consider barring “extremist” Israelis who call for violence against Palestinians from visiting Europe.
Hamas militants stormed out of Gaza into Israel on October 7, killing around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials.
In response, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas and has carried out air strikes and a ground offensive that have killed more than 16,000 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Even though Hamas does not control the West Bank, some 250 Palestinians have been killed there by Israeli soldiers and settlers since October 7, according to Palestinian authorities.
The United States visa measures were announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who called the settler attacks “unacceptable”.
Washington will refuse entry to anyone involved in “undermining peace, security or stability in the West Bank” or who takes actions that “unduly restrict civilians’ access to essential services and basic necessities”, he said. — AFP
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