EU fight over sanctions against settlers

EU fight over sanctions against settlers



full screen A German EU diplomat on site in a building in the West Bank that was destroyed by Israeli settlers this summer. Archive image. Photo: Majdi Mohammed/AP/TT

The EU is getting ready for sanctions against violent Israeli settlers – but is still blocked by nos from the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Now new attempts are being made to agree.

The US has already taken the lead with frozen assets and other sanctions against four Israelis singled out for violence in the West Bank.

A growing majority within the EU would like to get involved and, at the urging of Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, has been discussing entry bans and frozen assets since December.

– Settler violence must end, urged French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

According to the news site Politico Europe, however, the Czech Republic and Hungary are stubbornly resisting.

– Shameful. Borrell is not taken seriously either inside or outside the EU, an EU diplomat told the news site.

The sanctions issue, which is at the same time made technically more difficult by the EU’s visa-free agreement with Israel, is being discussed again by the EU countries’ ambassadors on Wednesday. The hope is to reach an agreement in time for the next meeting of foreign ministers in the EU, on 19 February.

In parallel, another package of sanctions against Russia – the 13th since 2022 – is being prepared to target more people and businesses ahead of the two-year anniversary soon of the renewed attack on Ukraine.