US imposes sanctions on Israeli group that attacked Gaza aid

June 15, 2024 12:32 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Washington imposed sanctions on an Israeli group for attacking humanitarian aid convoys bound for starving civilians in Gaza, U.S. officials told Reuters, in the latest move targeting actors Washington believes threaten the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The sanctions target Tsav 9, a group with ties to Israeli army reservists and Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, over activities including blocking, harassing and damaging aid shipments.

Palestinians have been desperately in need of aid as Israel continues its eight-month invasion and bombardment, which has killed at least 37,000 people, according to the territory’s health ministry. Israel has also faced accusations of blocking aid, which it denies doing.

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Right-wing elements in Israel’s government, with links to the settler movement, have opposed U.S. President Joe Biden’s effort to forge a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas to end the Gaza war that began with Hamas’ attacks on southern Israel on Oct. 7, which killed around 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies.

The financial sanctions will be imposed under an executive order on West Bank violence Biden signed in February, which was previously used to impose financial restrictions on Jewish settlers involved in attacks on Palestinians as well as a Palestinian militant group.

Tsav 9 was listed as sanctioned on the website of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Friday. Reuters was first to report the sanctions.

“We’re using the authority to sanction an ever-broadening selection of actors, targeting individuals and entities that threaten the peace, security and stability of the West Bank regardless of religion, ethnicity or location,” Aaron Forsberg, director of the State Department’s office of sanctions policy and implementation, told Reuters.

On May 13, members of Tsav 9 looted and then set fire to two aid trucks near the West Bank city of Hebron.