Sanctioned Israeli Settlers Persevere Amid International Pressure

Yinon Levi, a sanctioned Israeli settler, faced financial hurdles after the United States imposed sanctions against him. However, community support and intervention from Israel's finance minister helped him regain financial stability. Despite sanctions aiming to deter settlers, the measures have had minimal impact, with settlements continuing to expand in the West Bank.


PTI | Southhebronhills | Updated: 06-06-2024 10:37 IST | Created: 06-06-2024 10:37 IST
Sanctioned Israeli Settlers Persevere Amid International Pressure

For weeks after being sanctioned by the United States, Yinon Levi struggled to pay the bills, living at his farming outpost atop a hill in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli settler's problems, however, didn't last. When the banks froze his accounts, his community raised thousands of dollars for him, and Israel's finance minister vowed to intervene on sanctioned settlers' behalf. Two months after sanctions were issued, Levi was granted access to his money.

Levi is among 13 hard-line Israeli settlers — as well as two affiliated outposts and four groups — targeted by international sanctions over accusations of attacks and harassment against Palestinians in the West Bank. The measures are meant as a deterrent, and they expose people to asset freezes and travel and visa bans. But the measures have had minimal impact, instead emboldening settlers as attacks and land-grabs escalate, according to Palestinians in the West Bank, local rights groups and sanctioned Israelis who spoke to AP.

Sanctions prohibit financial institutions and residents in the issuing country from providing funds to a person or entity. In some cases, property is seized. Even though Israeli banks aren't obliged to freeze accounts, many do so to maintain relations with banks — particularly for US sanctions — and avoid risk. But for sanctioned settlers, the implications didn't last long, with communities donating money and holding fundraisers making tens of thousands of dollars. And Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, a far-right settler leader, assured he'd "take care of the issue" of people being sanctioned, Levi's father-in-law, Noam Federman, told AP.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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