Photo Credit: European Parliament / European Union / Wikimedia
French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné

France is joining the Western harassment campaign against Israelis living in Samaria, who are often forced to defend themselves against attacks by neighboring Palestinian Authority Arabs long before Israeli military forces are able to arrive on the scene.

According to an announcement Tuesday by French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné, France has joined the United States and Britain in imposing sanctions against so-called “extremist Israeli settlers” the Western nations claim are “guilty of violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.


“As such, 28 individuals are subject to an administrative ban from French territory,” Séjourné said in the statement. “France reaffirms its firm condemnation of this unacceptable violence. As we have stated on numerous occasions, it is the responsibility of the Israeli authorities to put an end to it and prosecute its perpetrators,” he added.

The harassment of Israeli residents in Samaria began two weeks ago with the first round of sanctions imposed on four Israelis by the United States.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the move. “The vast majority of residents of Judea and Samaria are law-abiding citizens, many of whom are fighting right now in active and reserve duty to protect Israel,” he pointed out.

“Israel acts against all violators of the law in all places and therefore there is no place for drastic steps on this matter,” Netanyahu added.

The prime minister also raised the matter in his phone call on Sunday (Feb. 11) with US President Joe Biden, noting that for some time already there has been a decrease in the number of attacks against Palestinian Authority Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

Last month, then-Foreign Minister Eli Cohen called the claims of “growing settler violence” a “blood libel” and “a lie disconnected from reality.”

Bank Leumi Bows to US, Freezes Accounts of Sanctioned Israeli

Samaria resident Yinon Levy was among the four Israelis targeted in the sanctions; he was notified 10 days ago that his personal and business accounts in Bank Leumi were also frozen in response to sanctions imposed against him by the United States.

Shortly after, two more Israeli banks froze the accounts of others sanctioned by the US as well.

US Threatens to ‘Police’ Judea and Samaria
Meanwhile, the United States has led the way for its European Allies to join the harassment campaign in what appears to be a carefully orchestrated effort to pressure the Netanyahu government into accepting a Palestinian Authority terrorist state on its borders.

“We are willing and, as we have shown through our actions both with the visa bans and the actions we take today, committed to taking further actions within our ability to police settler violence, extremist settler violence, and we’ll continue to take additional steps as necessary,” US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller threatened in a Feb. 1 briefing with reporters.

Those “additional steps” were not long in coming.

UK Sanctions Four Israelis, Calls Them ‘Extremist Settlers’

On Monday (Feb. 12) the UK also announced sanctions against four Israelis, accusing them of “egregious abuses of human rights” and imposing strict financial and travel restrictions on all of them.

Moshe Sharvit, Yinon Levy, Zvi Bar Yosef and Ely Federman were identified as having been barred from entering Britain as part of the sanctions. Sharvit and Levy were among those subjected to visa sanctions and had their assets frozen by the United States.

“Extremist Israeli settlers are threatening Palestinians, often at gunpoint, and forcing them off land that is rightfully theirs,” claimed British Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron. The foreign secretary did not quote any source nor provide any evidence to back up the accusation.

“This behavior is illegal and unacceptable. Israel must also take stronger action and put a stop to settler violence. Too often, we see commitments made and undertakings given, but not followed through,” Cameron added, echoing statements by the United States.

Blatant Double Standard
What is sauce for the goose, however, does not seem to be sauce for the gander, as an old American saying goes.

There have been no reports of Palestinian Authority Arab attackers being similarly targeted with sanctions — not by the United States and certainly not by the UK or European Union nations, who have generously, repeatedly, provided the Ramallah government with the wherewithal to implement the Fayyad Plan in establishing multiple, illegal outposts on Israeli state land designated under the internationally-recognized Oslo II Accords in 1995.

According to data published by Rescuers Without Borders (Hatzalah Judea and Samaria) last month, there were more than 2,600 attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers. Those included 760 rock-throwing attacks, 551 attacks with Molotov cocktails and live fireworks, 12 attempted and/or successful stabbings and nine terror ramming attacks using Arab vehicles between October 7, 2023 and January 15, 2024 — in addition to 127 reported shooting attacks.

Not one Palestinian Authority Arab involved in attacking Israelis anywhere has been targeted with sanctions by the US or anyone else.

The Palestinian Authority — which has yet to condemn the October 7, 2023 massacre of 1,200 people in southern Israel and abduction of 253 others by Hamas-led terrorists from Gaza — instead announced last month that 3,550 terrorists imprisoned in Israel will receive monthly reward payouts for their murderous efforts under the Ramallah government’s official “pay for slay” policy, as will the families of 23,210 slain “martyrs.”

Of those, 661 Hamas terrorists from Gaza are to receive the benefit; the remainder were captured during Israeli counter terrorism operations in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, according to a January 3, 2024 announcement on the PA-funded Palestinian Prisoners’ Club Telegram channel quoted by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog organization.

No record exists of any of these thousands of confirmed terrorists having been sanctioned by the United States or the United Kingdom.

And now France has joined the party. Can Belgium be far behind?


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.