The US has introduced visa restrictions for those involved in the oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank, the US State Department said in a statement on Tuesday. Washington advised Israel to “do more” to protect Palestinians in the area and to punish anyone involved in violent attacks against civilians or undue restriction of their access to basic amenities, it added.
While the previous US administration of Donald Trump took a more lenient position on the issue, the State Department under President Joe Biden has criticized Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank. In 2021, Washington said it “strongly opposes” the practice and, in May 2023, added that it was “deeply troubled” by the expansion of “illegal” settlement activity. Until now, however, it had not taken any specific action on the issue.
On Tuesday, the State Department announced that it would implement a new visa restriction policy “targeting individuals believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security, or stability in the West Bank.” Immediate family members of such people might also be affected by the measure, it added.