France sanctions 28 'extremist' Israeli settlers
By News Desk
February 13, 2024 07:25 PM
France on Tuesday said it was imposing sanctions against 28 "extremist Israeli settlers" who it accuses of committing human rights abuses against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank.
The 28 individuals are now banned from entering French territory, the foreign ministry said.
It said it firmly condemned "unacceptable" violence perpetrated by settlers against the Palestinian population that had increased in recent months.
"It the responsibility of the Israeli authorities to put an end to it and to prosecute those who commit it," it added.
France would also be seeking sanctions at European level, it said.
The French announcement comes after the United Kingdom on Monday said it was sanctioning four "extremist Israeli settlers" accused of committing human rights abuses against Palestinians in the West Bank.
The United States had already announced punitive measures against one of them, as well as three others, on February 1 over what it called "intolerable" violence.
About 490,000 settlers live among approximately three million Palestinians in the West Bank, in settlements that are considered illegal under international law.
"Colonisation is illegal under international law and must cease", the French foreign ministry added, saying it was "incompatible with the establishment of a viable Palestinian state".
Since October 7, Israeli troops and settlers have killed at least 390 Palestinians in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah.
The latest Gaza war began after Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.
Militants also took about 250 people hostage, around 130 of whom are still in Gaza, according to Israeli figures. Israel says 29 of the remaining captives are presumed dead.
Israel's relentless bombardment and ground offensive in Gaza has killed at least 28,473 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in the Palestinian territory.