Investigation urged on Israeli settlers skirting US sanctions
The sanctions were issued as an executive order earlier this month after a long period of escalating settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, one of several gestures the US administration has made amid growing public disapproval for their support of Israel's war in Gaza.
The US-based NGO Democracy for the Arab World Now says that multiple financial institutions are doing business with at least one of the sanctioned settlers in violation of the days-old executive order.
"The US Department of Treasury should immediately investigate and consider sanctions against an Israeli bank, a crowdfunding website, two credit card processors, and an Israeli charity for providing goods and services, including enabling donations and funding, to a violent Israeli settler on the Treasury Department's Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN)," said DAWN in a public statement.
"If the administration is serious about sanctioning violent Israeli settlers, it should ensure that it creates consequences for the Israeli banks and charities openly defying the sanctions rules," said Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, director of research for Israel-Palestine at DAWN. "Sanctions against individuals without enforcement against the institutions helping them evade those sanctions only formalizes Israeli impunity."
DAWN noted that the executive order prohibits "the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order," which would apply to the four sanctioned settlers, David Chai Chasdai, Einan Tanjil, Shalim Zicherman, and Yinon Levi.
Following its recent investigation, DAWN found that sanctioned settlers were evading sanctions through crowdfunding, with at least one explicitly stating they needed to raise money for the settler due to sanctions.
Moreover, DAWN found that an Israeli bank was processing the money from the fundraiser, in some cases using a banking app to process the payments.
DAWN said they had sent their findings to the US Treasury, asking that they enforce the executive order.