Israeli Banks Comply with US Sanctions on West Bank Settlers, Drawing Opposition from Far-Right Ministers

Israeli Banks Comply with US Sanctions on West Bank Settlers Despite Far-Right Opposition: Implications for Israeli Policy and International Relations

Feb 5, 2024 - 08:25
Feb 5, 2024 - 08:25
 0  39
Israeli Banks Comply with US Sanctions on West Bank Settlers, Drawing Opposition from Far-Right Ministers
Israeli Banks Comply with US Sanctions on West Bank Settlers, Drawing Opposition from Far-Right Ministers

Israeli banks announced on Monday their adherence to US sanctions targeting four West Bank settlers accused of violence against Palestinians, despite objections from the finance minister and other far-right members of the cabinet.

The move reflects Washington's growing dissatisfaction with Israeli actions in the occupied territory, even amid cooperation in the Gaza conflict. President Joe Biden issued an executive order last Thursday, prohibiting financial transactions involving the four individuals.

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office downplayed the need for such measures, his ultranationalist coalition partners, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, expressed stronger opposition.

"We are not a banana republic of the United States in this regard, and we won't allow for the harming of our citizens," Smotrich asserted, labeling the accusations against the settlers as "utterly specious." He vowed to utilize "all available tools" to prevent Israeli banks from enforcing the sanctions.

However, the Bank of Israel emphasized that Israeli banks must comply with the Biden administration's decision to avoid significant risks, including legal and reputational concerns.

Hapoalim, one of Israel's largest banks, affirmed its respect for international sanctions and readiness to comply with legal directives. Its competitor, Leumi, refrained from commenting, although one of the sanctioned settlers reported that Leumi froze his accounts.

Yinon Levi, one of the sanctioned individuals, denied the allegations against him, stating he was not involved in violent activities. Similarly, David Chai Chasdai, another sanctioned settler, disputed the accusations and criticized the sanctions as a "national disgrace."

The sanctions coincide with US visa bans imposed in December on individuals involved in West Bank violence. While settlements are considered illegal by most world powers, the freezing of settler accounts has drawn condemnation from Ben-Gvir, who described it as a "red line" and emphasized Israel's sovereignty.

Also Read: Boeing's Trouble with 737 Planes: What it Means for Deliveries and Stocks

iShook Opinion Curated by iShook Opinion and guided by Founder and CEO Beni E Rachmanov. Dive into valuable financial insights at ishookfinance.com for expert articles and latest news on finance.