Prime Minister Netanyahu has defended Israeli settlers as ‘law abiding citizens’ after Biden administration imposed sanctions on them
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded harshly to a statement made by President Joe Biden on Thursday on what the President called “settler violence” in the West Bank. The statement came as the Biden Administration imposed sanctions on Israelis referred to as “extremist settlers” who commit acts of violence against Palestinians.
“The overwhelming majority of residents in Judea and Samaria are law-abiding citizens, many of whom are currently fighting – as conscripts and reservists – to defend Israel,” declared Netanyahu.
“Israel acts against all Israelis who break the law, everywhere; therefore, exceptional measures are unnecessary,” he added.
In his statement, President Biden said, “I find that the situation in the West Bank – in particular high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages, and property destruction – has reached intolerable levels and constitutes a serious threat to the peace, security, and stability of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, and the broader Middle East region.”
The President went on to say that such actions “undermine the foreign policy objectives of the United States, including the viability of a two-state solution and ensuring Israelis and Palestinians can attain equal measures of security, prosperity, and freedom.”
Biden also said that they undermine the security of Israel and have the potential to “lead to broader regional destabilisation across the Middle East, threatening United States personnel and interests.”
“For these reasons,” asserted the President, “these actions constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” (ANI/TPS)