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US President Joe Biden

Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

US President Joe Biden has issued an executive order targeting Israeli settlers in the West Bank who have attacked Palestinians in the occupied territories. Financial sanctions and visa restrictions were immediately imposed on four people.

According to the order, the four people were involved in acts of violence and threats against Palestinians. There have also been attempts to destroy or confiscate Palestinian property. The aim of the sanctions is to prevent the four settlers from using the US financial system. American citizens should also be prevented from doing business with them. US officials said they were investigating whether others were involved in the attacks.

Violence against Palestinians in the West Bank has intensified since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war. According to Palestinian authorities, people were killed. Human rights groups said settlers burned cars and attacked several small Bedouin communities, forcing evacuations.

"These attacks undermine the foreign policy goals of the United States, including the viability of a two-state solution and ensuring that Israelis and Palestinians can achieve equal levels of security, prosperity and freedom," Biden said in the order. "The attacks also undermine Israel's security and have the potential to lead to broader regional destabilization throughout the Middle East and endanger United States personnel and interests," said the US President.