Report: US Could Impose Sanctions on Israel’s Ben-Gvir and Smotrich

Credits: The Times of Israel

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, the United States is currently deliberating the imposition of sanctions on Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

These potential sanctions are part of a broader package of measures being considered, targeting the two influential far-right ministers who are key figures in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet.

The consideration of sanctions comes amidst escalating tensions between the US and Israel, primarily stemming from Washington’s strong opposition to Israel’s proposed full-scale invasion of Rafah, located in the southern Gaza Strip.

Report To Impose Sanctions (Credits: Middle East Monitor)

The US has been adamant in its stance, urging Israel to exercise restraint and refrain from carrying out the military operation. Despite these calls for restraint, Netanyahu reportedly informed US President Joe Biden, during a conversation earlier in the week, of his intention to proceed with the military operation in Rafah.

This decision has further strained the already tense relationship between the two countries. The potential sanctions against Smotich and Ben-Gvir are seen as a significant escalation in the US response to Israel’s proposed military action. Both ministers are known for their hardline stance on national security issues and their close ties to Netanyahu.

The sanctions, if implemented, would likely have a profound impact on Israel’s political landscape, potentially leading to further instability within the government.

The US has not yet officially confirmed the reports of impending sanctions. However, the Wall Street Journal’s sources suggest that the sanctions package is being actively considered as a means of pressuring Israel to reconsider its military plans in Rafah.

The situation in Rafah has been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with tensions escalating in recent weeks following a series of violent incidents in the region.

The US has been closely monitoring the situation and has repeatedly urged both sides to exercise restraint and avoid actions that could escalate the violence further. The potential imposition of sanctions on Israeli ministers represents a significant shift in US policy towards Israel.

While the US has traditionally been a staunch ally of Israel, the current administration under President Biden has taken a more critical stance on certain Israeli policies, particularly regarding the treatment of Palestinians and the handling of the conflict in Gaza.

The imposition of sanctions, if carried out, would mark a major escalation in the US response to Israel’s actions in Rafah. It remains to be seen how Israel will respond to the threat of sanctions and whether it will alter its military plans in light of this development.

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