U.S. bans travel for dozens of “extremist” Israeli settlers
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled the new policy on Tuesday. The travel ban applies to unidentified Israeli settlers whom the U.S. government has labeled as extremists. Blinken said the banned West Bank settlers are thought to have been “involved in undermining peace, security, or stability in the West Bank.” He said that could include settlers who have committed acts of violence in the West Bank, as well as those who have taken actions that would unduly restrict civilian access to necessities. The policy affects dozens of individuals and their family members, U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Tuesday. He said anyone affected who currently has a visa to enter the United States would be notified that the visa has been revoked.
Does this policy only target Israeli settlers in the West Bank? While Miller focused primarily on Israeli settlers recently implicated in a rash of attacks on Palestinians, the travel ban would also apply to Palestinians involved in attacks on Israelis in the West Bank. The U.S. government has firmly backed Israel’s right to defend itself in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks by the terrorist group Hamas.
Dig deeper: Listen to former National Security Council member William Inboden explain Hamas’ “sleight of hand” on The World and Everything in It podcast.
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