EU official condemns Israeli colonist violence

BRUSSELS: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell Friday condemned Israeli colonist violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 'We strongly condemn extremist settler violence: perpetrators must be held to account,' he tweeted on X platform. 'The EU has decided to sanction extremist settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem for serious human rights abuses against Palestinians,' he added. This came after the US State Department imposed new sanctions on far-right Israeli colonists over their involvement in violence in the occupied West Bank. Among those listed is Ben Zion Gopstein, leader of Lehava, a far-right Jewish supremacist group that gained notoriety in Israel for attempting to prevent marriages between Jews and Arabs. The Treasury Department also designated Mount Hebron Fund and Shlom Asiraich over their role in establishing fundraising campaigns for two US-sanctioned far-right Israelis. "We are deeply concerned about the escalation of violence in the West Bank in recent days an d call on Israel to take all appropriate measures to prevent attacks by violent extremist settlers and hold those responsible accountable," the State Department said in a statement. "The United States will not hesitate to take additional steps to promote accountability if necessary." Colonist violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities. Colonist violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, and attacks on vulnerable homes, among others. Over 700,000 Israeli colonists are living in colonies across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law. Source: Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA

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