EU sanctions against Israeli settlers and Hamas

Europe raises its voice against the violence of settlers in Israel and Hamas. Earlier in the week, on Monday March 18, the 27 foreign ministers agreed to sanction extremist and violent Israeli settlers. In particular, they are banned from traveling within the European Union and their bank accounts will be blocked if they exist within the Community territory.

The target persons are a small group of people, some sources say fewer than ten. Israeli extremists are not being prosecuted by local courts, despite violence in recent weeks. Acts that led to the deaths of several Palestinians in the West Bank.

Sanctions also against Hamas

At the same time, the EU will also impose sanctions on the Palestinian terrorist movement Hamas following allegations of sexual violence against Israeli hostages.

So far, Europe has failed to agree on such measures and Hungary has blocked the process. This time no veto, unanimity and political agreement. “We discussed sanctions, sanctions against Hamas, and we agreed on sanctions against extremist settlers,” said Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy. “A solid compromise has been reached and I hope that this will stand until full adoption soon. But the political agreement is there.”

Further discussions will follow

A political agreement that follows sanctions already imposed individually by certain states against the most radical settlers: France, the United States or the United Kingdom. In doing so, the EU hopes to send a double message to Israel: justice must be done, including in the face of violence on the Israeli side, and a solution to the conflict must be found. A message of determination, also – and this is unusual – in the voice of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

“This war, but also this conflict as a whole, can only be ended if we reach a two-state solution,” emphasized the minister on Monday. “That is why it is so important for us to make it clear that the construction of settlements and in particular the violence of radical settlers is not in accordance with international law.”

Spain and Ireland would like to go further and propose to review the EU-Israel Association Agreement. An agreement that establishes a framework for commercial, cultural, or scientific relationships. According to the head of European diplomacy, a debate on the issue could soon take place, but several member states, including Germany, are expected to reject any change on the issue.

This article is originally published on dw.com

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