UK announces sanctions on four ‘extremist’ Israeli settlers

The United Kingdom has announced sanctions on four Israeli settlers accused of committing human rights abuses against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank after a similar move by the United States this month.

The sanctions announced on Monday follow what the UK called “unprecedented levels of violence by extremist settlers in the West Bank” over the past year by some residents of illegal Israeli settlements and outposts there.

The sanctions represent a rare move by London and Washington against Israelis as war rages in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The transatlantic allies’ steadfast support for Israel’s military operations in the territory has drawn heavy criticism both internationally and among sections of their domestic populations.

Announcing the asset freezes and travel and visa bans against the settlers, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said: “Israel must also take stronger action and put a stop to settler violence.”