The UK government has announced sanctions against four extremist Israeli settlers who it claims committed human rights abuses against Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
Responding to unprecedented levels of violence by extremist settlers in the West Bank over the past year, the foreign office named four individuals who it said “have used harassment, intimidation and violence to put pressure on Palestinian communities to leave their land. ”
They said two of the individuals designated on Monday – Moshe Sharvit and Yinon Levy – have in recent months used physical aggression, threatened families at gunpoint, and destroyed property as part of a targeted and calculated effort to displace Palestinian communities.
Another illegal outpost, set up by Zvi Bar Yosef, has been described by local Palestinian residents as a “source of systematic intimidation and violence.”
The measures put strict financial and travel restrictions on those who commit these acts.
Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said: “Today’s sanctions place restrictions on those involved in some of the most egregious abuses of human rights. We should be clear about what is happening here.
“Extremist Israeli settlers are threatening Palestinians, often at gunpoint, and forcing them off land that is rightfully theirs. This behaviour is illegal and unacceptable.
“Israel must also take stronger action and put a stop to settler violence. Too often, we see commitments made and undertakings given, but not followed through.”
In a statement, the foreign office said Moshe Sharvit was an extremist settler who has threatened, harassed and assaulted Palestinian shepherds and their families in the Jordan Valley. In October 2023, one community of twenty families fled after Sharvit attacked the residents and told them they had five hours to leave;
Yinon Levy is leader of the ‘Meitarim Farm’ outpost, founded in 2021, whose settlers have used physical violence and the destruction of property to displace Palestinian communities including Zanuta in October 2023;
Zvi Bar Yosef is a settler leader who, since setting up the ‘Zvi’s Farm’ outpost in 2018, has used intimidation and violence against local Palestinians, including twice threatening at gunpoint young families having a picnic;
While Ely Federman is involved in multiple incidents against Palestinian shepherds in the South Hebron Hills.
The four are now subject to a UK asset freeze, travel and visa ban.