US enforces visa prohibition due to West Bank violence


(MENAFN) In a significant policy shift, the United States has introduced visa restrictions targeting individuals involved in the oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank, according to a statement released by the United States State Department on Tuesday. The move underscores a departure from the more lenient stance on the issue taken by the previous Trump administration, signaling a renewed commitment to addressing human rights concerns in the region under President Joe Biden.

The State Department urged Israel to take more decisive actions to protect Palestinians in the West Bank and to ensure accountability for those responsible for violent attacks against civilians or undue restrictions on their access to basic amenities. While Washington has previously criticized Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank, this marks the first concrete step taken by the Biden administration in response to the ongoing situation.

The announcement revealed a new visa restriction policy aimed at individuals believed to have played a role in undermining peace, security, or stability in the West Bank. The repercussions of this policy may extend to immediate family members of those targeted. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the need for the Israeli government to hold extremist settlers accountable for violent attacks against Palestinians, and he affirmed ongoing engagement with Israeli leadership to emphasize the imperative of taking additional measures to protect Palestinian civilians from such extremist acts.

Furthermore, the statement highlighted the United States commitment to working with the Palestinian Authority, calling on them to do more to curb attacks against Israelis. The Biden administration emphasized the detrimental impact of ongoing violence in the region on both sides and stressed the importance of collaborative efforts to promote peace, security, and stability.

This development marks a significant shift in United States policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, indicating a proactive approach by the Biden administration to address human rights concerns and promote accountability for actions contributing to instability in the West Bank. The visa restrictions serve as a tangible step towards encouraging all parties involved to take concrete measures to safeguard civilians and work towards lasting peace in the region.

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