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The US put penalties on groups that raise money for extremist settlers in the West Bank and the founder of an organization whose members attack Palestinians

By FATIMA HUSSEIN (Associated Press) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday imposed sanctions on two entities accused of fundraising for extremist Israeli-occupied West Bank settlers who have harassed and attacked Palestinians, as well as the founder of an

By FATIMA HUSSEIN (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday imposed sanctions on two entities accused of fundraising for extremist Israeli-occupied West Bank settlers who have harassed and attacked Palestinians, as well as the founder of an organization whose members regularly assault Palestinians.

The Treasury Department announcement comes as the West Bank has seen some of its worst violence perpetrated by extremist settlers against Palestinians since the war in nearby Gaza began.

There is also friction between President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose far-right government has reacted angrily to previous sanctions imposed against West Bank settlers.

Included in the Friday sanctions are two entities — Mount Hebron Fund and Shlom Asiraich — accused of raising funds for sanctioned settlers Yinon Levi and David Chai Chasdai.

The fundraising campaigns established by Mount Hebron Fund for Levi and by Shlom Asiraich for Chasdai generated the equivalent of $140,000 and $31,000, respectively, according to U.S. Treasury.

The penalties aim to block them from using the U.S. financial system and bar American citizens from dealing with them.

Additionally, the State Department is designating Ben-Zion Gopstein, the founder and leader of Lehava, an organization whose members have assaulted Palestinian civilians.

Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said the organizations “undermine the peace, security, and stability of the West Bank. We will continue to use our tools to hold those responsible accountable.”

In February, Biden issued an executive order that targets Israeli settlers in the West Bank who have been accused of attacking Palestinians and Israeli peace activists in the occupied territory.

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