In response to recent assaults on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, the State Department has unveiled a new policy of visa limitation aimed against radical Jewish settlers. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Israel last week that the Biden administration would act in response to the assaults. With “dozens of people and maybe their family members” likely to be among those impacted, this regulation is a part of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Both Israelis and Palestinians would be affected by the policy. If convicted of violent crimes, Palestinians would lose their ability to seek visas to the United States since they are not part of the Visa Waiver Program. Anyone from Israel who has a history of violent crimes will have their visas withdrawn or be unable to apply for them in the future.
The United States has brought up the matter with the Israeli government on many occasions, stressing the need to reduce violence by settlement groups.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant denounced the use of force by Jewish settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank, stating that only law enforcement and the armed forces have the authority to use such measures. As Israel’s onslaught continues to extend and targets the heavily populated southern Gaza, the Biden administration has increased its demands on the Israelis to do more to prevent civilian losses.
More designations will be issued in the following days, with the first prohibitions under the new policy applied on Tuesday. The revocation of any Israeli visa would be communicated to any Israeli citizen whose visa was explicitly targeted.
The West Bank, which the Palestinians want to use as the foundation of their state, has been under Israeli occupation since the Middle East conflict of 1967.
In their denial, Israelites point to their ancestral and scriptural links to the country. Following the deaths of 1,200 Israelis and the kidnapping of around 240 hostages, the number of settler assaults each day has more than quadrupled. Hamas is in control of the Palestinian region of Gaza. After that, Israel attacked and bombarded Gaza, resulting in over 16,000 casualties.