Israelis and Palestinians See Problems With Sanctions on West Bank Settlers

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Among Israeli and Palestinian leaders, reactions to Biden administration sanctions against West Bank settlers fell predictably along ethnic and ideological lines, from far-right Jewish nationalists who denounced the penalties as unjust to Arabs who said they did not go far enough.

The sanctions announced on Thursday came in response to violence by Jewish settler extremists, which has increased sharply in recent months.

“4 settlers?! Pathetic,” Ahmad Tibi, an Arab member of the Israeli Parliament, wrote on X. “What about the Government who adopt them?”

At the other end of the spectrum, settler leaders as well as ultranationalist lawmakers, including Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, both cabinet members in the governing coalition, insisted that it was the settlers, not the Palestinians they live near, who were victims.

“The ‘settler violence’ campaign is an anti-Semitic lie spread by Israel’s enemies,” Mr. Smotrich wrote on X, though such violence has been amply documented.

Yossi Dagan, who leads a regional settler council in the northern West Bank, said in a statement that he expected the Biden administration to take similar steps against the Arab residents who threw stones at settlers, and who, he claimed, routinely “try to murder Jews.” He focused on the small number of Israelis placed under sanctions relative to the hundreds of thousands of settlers, though many more have been implicated in the violence.

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Israelis and Palestinians See Problems With Sanctions on West Bank Settlers

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