US Sanctions Israeli Extremist Group for Destroying Gaza Aid

The State Department imposed sanctions on an Israeli extremist group accused of blocking and destroying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the latest in a broader US push to ease what the United Nations says is a looming famine in the enclave.

Bloomberg
Published14 Jun 2024, 11:13 PM IST
US Sanctions Israeli Extremist Group for Destroying Gaza Aid
US Sanctions Israeli Extremist Group for Destroying Gaza Aid

(Bloomberg) -- The State Department imposed sanctions on an Israeli extremist group accused of blocking and destroying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the latest in a broader US push to ease what the United Nations says is a looming famine in the enclave.

The sanctions targeted Tzav 9, a group that “repeatedly sought to thwart the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including by blockading roads, sometimes violently, along their route from Jordan to Gaza, including in the West Bank,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

Miller’s statement linked Tzav 9 to a May 13 incident in which protesters ransacked an aid truck, smashing boxes and tossing their contents across a highway. Video footage of the incident provoked global condemnation and renewed accusations that Israel wasn’t doing enough to facilitate the flow of aid into Gaza or crack down on groups disrupting it.

The sanctions will largely bar the group from financial transactions in the US and freeze any of its assets there. The immediate impact isn’t clear because the State Department didn’t say how it would identify individuals to the group, or whether any of them have ties to the US.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order in February empowering the State Department to penalize those whose threaten peace and stability in the West Bank. The department has since imposed sanctions on both Palestinian and Israeli groups for violence against civilians.

Friday’s move comes days after the World Health Organization warned of “catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions” in Gaza in the months since Hamas, which is designated a terrorist group by the US and the European Union, attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and Israeli forces responded with a devastating military campaign to destroy the group. 

The US has pressed to increase the flow of aid there, including by building a pier off the Gaza coast in the Mediterranean Sea, and has repeatedly pushed Israel to allow more aid through land crossings around the enclave.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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First Published:14 Jun 2024, 11:13 PM IST
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