Ben Gvir and officials in his office have granted 14,000 weapons licenses without oversight since the Al-Aqsa flood (French)

An Israeli newspaper quoted American officials as saying that Washington is ready to include National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir in the list of those included in a second sanctions package, against settlers involved in violence in the occupied West Bank.

The Times of Israel quoted an American official as saying that the administration of President Joe Biden is preparing to issue a second package of sanctions against Israeli settlers in the coming weeks.

She added that prominent Israeli extremists would likely be punished, but government officials would not be targeted.

American officials said that the Biden administration seriously considered including Ben Gvir to the sanctions list, and that Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is not included in the sanctions.

Ben Gvir facilitated the procedures for obtaining licenses to carry weapons for Israelis following the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, and the newspaper "Haaretz" reported that he and officials in his office had granted 14,000 weapon licenses without oversight since the operation.

At the beginning of this month, the US President issued an executive order aimed at punishing Jewish settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank, “with the aim of addressing activities that undermine peace and stability in the West Bank.”

In addition to Britain, France announced that it had imposed sanctions on “28 extremist Israeli settlers” who committed “acts of violence against Palestinian civilians” in the West Bank.

In turn, Spain threatened - last Monday - to impose unilateral sanctions on extremist settlers, if the member states of the European Union did not reach an agreement on this matter.

Pompeo Doctrine

The officials said that the Biden administration is considering abolishing the so-called “Pompeo Doctrine,” which states that settlements do not in themselves conflict with international law.

They also pointed out that unilateral US recognition of a Palestinian state is far from reality, and that it would be difficult from a legal and political standpoint.

The officials said that the United States is not seriously considering changing its policy that any recognition must come through direct negotiations between the two parties.

The Times of Israel quoted officials as saying that the approach taken by the United States regarding Israeli policy in the West Bank does not detract from its continued support for the goals of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

The newspaper said that Washington continues to oppose a permanent ceasefire, but in recent days it has begun to express its support for a temporary halt to the war that has been ongoing since the attack on October 7, 2023.

The aggression led to the death of more than 29 thousand people and the injury of more than 68 thousand, in addition to the destruction of various cities and the displacement and starvation of the population.

Source: Al Jazeera + The Times of Israel