Skip to main content

US announces visa ban policy for Israel's extremist West Bank settlers

The US visa restrictions come as the United Nations and rights groups have documented an uptick in settler violence against West Bank Palestinians since Oct. 7.
Israeli settlers gather on a hill next to the Palestinian town of Halhul, north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on June 30, 2020, as they attend a rally against US President Donald Trump's peace plan which might create a Palestinian state and also the Israeli annexation of some parts West Bank.

WASHINGTON — The US State Department will deny visas to Israeli settlers attacking and displacing Palestinians in the West Bank under a new policy unveiled Tuesday.

For nearly a year, the Biden administration has pushed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to prosecute extremist settlers accused of carrying out deadly violence against Palestinians and vandalizing their property. Those attacks have surged following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, which killed 1200 people, mainly civilians, in southern Israel. 

US officials have since grown frustrated by the Israeli government’s failure to rein in settlers whose violence they say risks playing into the hands of the Gaza militants. President Joe Biden first proposed the visa bans in a Nov. 18 Washington Post op-ed, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed Israeli officials of the coming restrictions during meetings in Jerusalem last week. 

“In Israel, I made clear that the United States is ready to take action using our own authorities,” Blinken said in a statement Tuesday. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.