President Joe Biden will issue an executive order to sanction Israeli settlers involved in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, four sources familiar with the matter told the AP.
An official source, who like the others asked to remain anonymous as he was not authorized to speak on the subject publicly, said that the White House would make the announcement this Thursday.
Biden has spoken out against retaliatory attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank following the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7. The president has promised that those responsible for the violence They will be held accountable.
Since the war broke out in Gaza, violence in the West Bank has skyrocketed. Israel has hunted down suspected militants there and killed more than 380 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Most died in confrontations with Israeli forces during raids or violent protests by settlers.
An Israeli military vehicle in Hebron, West Bank. Photo: Reuters
The Israeli military says it has detained nearly 3,000 Palestinians in the West Bank in the past four months.
Biden's expected order was first reported by Politico.
The new executive order comes as Biden was scheduled to visit Michigan on Thursday to rally support from union members in a key presidential battleground state. The Democratic president has faced harsh criticism from Arab and Muslim leaders for his handling of the war with Hamas, and the shadow of the conflict makes some Democrats fear he could have an important effect on the outcome of the November elections.
The State Department announced in December that would impose travel bans on extremist Jewish settlers implicated in a series of recent attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
The department did not announce any individual visa bans. But officials said at the time that the bans would cover “dozens” of settlers and their familiesand that there would be more if the violence continued.
Undercover operation in a hospital
Biden's decision to sanction Israeli settlers comes a day after dressed-up Israeli soldiers and medical staff stormed a hospital in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday and killed three Palestinian militants in a striking raid that reflected the spread of deadly violence. to the territory during the war in Gaza.
Disguised Israeli soldiers tour the hospital. Photo: AP
Israeli forces fired shots inside the Ibn Sina hospital in the town of Jenin, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The ministry condemned the assault and called on the international community to pressure the Israeli army to stop those kinds of operations in hospitals. A spokesman for the center said there had been no exchange of gunfire, pointing to a targeted killing.
The army said the militants used the hospital as a hideout, without presenting evidence. He claimed that one of the targets of the assault had given weapons and ammunition to others for an attack, allegedly inspired by the Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7 that sparked the war in Gaza.
A bullet hole in a pillow means a shot to the head, during the operation at the hospital. Photo: Zain Jaafar / AFP
Images circulated on social networks supposedly taken by a hospital security camera, showing around half a dozen undercover soldiers, most of them armed, dressed as women in Islamic clothing or hospital staff in pajamas or white doctors' coats. One wearing a surgical mask carried a rifle in one hand and a folded wheelchair in the other. Officers were seen searching a man kneeling against a wall with his arms raised.