EU member states agree on sanctions against Israeli settlers

EU member states have agreed to impose sanctions on some radical Israeli settlers in the West Bank, a senior EU official said on Friday. At the same time, they will announce new sanctions against the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, following allegations of sexual violence against Israeli hostages.

European sanctions against Israeli settlers have been on the table for some time, but Hungary has blocked an agreement. According to the official, all member states are now in line and foreign ministers can give the go-ahead at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Since the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel on 7 October and the Israeli offensive in Gaza, tensions have also risen in the West Bank. According to the Palestinian Authority, at least 430 Palestinians have been killed by gunfire from Israeli soldiers or settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory. The United States, a close ally of Israel, has accused the settlers of undermining stability in the area and has already imposed sanctions.

Differing views

European foreign ministers will also hold a first debate on Monday on the issue of Spain and Ireland, who are pushing for a possible suspension of the association agreement with Israel, citing violations of the treaty's human rights provisions.

Member states have different views on the conflict. Some call for an immediate ceasefire, while others stress Israel's security concerns. But last month all member states except Hungary agreed on a text calling for an "immediate humanitarian pause that should lead to a durable ceasefire, the unconditional release of hostages and the delivery of humanitarian aid".



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