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EU’s Borrell to propose sanctions on ‘extremist’ Israeli settlers in West Bank

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EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday he would propose the imposition of sanctions on “extremist” Israeli settlers in the West Bank, according to Politico.

“We will work on imposing sanctions against extremist settlers in the West Bank. I will make a proposal to member states in this regard,” Borrell said at a press conference after a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Borrell also said he opposed both the forced displacement of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip and Israel’s occupation of the enclave as it expands its ground offensive in the south of Gaza, forcing thousands of Palestinians to flee.

Borrell added he had been “alarmed” by the Israeli government’s approval of the construction of another 1,700 housing units in East Jerusalem to expand the settlements. The EU considers the plan “illegal under international law,” he said.

Earlier this month, the US informed Israel that Washington would impose visa bans on Israeli settlers engaged in violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank, Reuters reported.

Borrell has called for a two-state solution to the crisis in the Middle East. “We believe it is the best if not the only solution to give security and peace both to Israel and Palestine,” he said.

“The security of Israel cannot be reached just by military means. It requires a political settlement of the conflict.”