EU Set To Impose Sanctions On ‘Violent’ Israeli Settlers, Hamas

EU countries have reached a preliminary agreement to impose sanctions on “violent” Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and on Hamas for sexual violence during the October 7 attack, officials said on Friday.

A high-ranking EU official said that he expected foreign ministers from the bloc’s 27 member states to give political backing to the moves at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Britain and the United States have already imposed sanctions on a small number of Israeli settlers accused of committing human rights abuses against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Hungary — a staunch supporter of Israel — has for weeks been holding up a deal for the EU to take a similar step, diplomats say.

Under the agreement, the official said that the EU would first impose sanctions on Hamas over sexual violence inflicted during its October 7 attack on Israel.

The 27-nation EU has struggled for a unified position in the face of the Hamas attack and Israel’s subsequent devastating military operation in Gaza.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday will sound out ministers on whether to suspend a cooperation agreement with Israel over its assault.

But there is unlikely to be unanimity for the move given strong backing for Israel from several member countries.

Hamas’s October 7 attack killed about 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory military campaign to destroy Hamas has killed at least 31,490 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

AFP

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