Biden administration imposes sanctions on Israeli group blocking humanitarian aid into Gaza

The Biden administration is imposing sanctions on an Israeli group for disrupting humanitarian convoys headed to Gaza.

Both the US Treasury Department and the US State Department took action against the “Tsav 9” movement for its repeated obstruction of the aid.

The Tsav 9 movement, a grouping of demobilized reservists, families of hostages and settlers, has been leading protests to disrupt the critical aid convoys at Kerem Shalom, the country’s sole functioning border crossing with Gaza. Its name, meaning “Order 9,” is a reference to the emergency mobilization notices that call up reservists.

At the end of February, the area was declared a closed military zone, due to international pressure, but protesters continued to arrive and try to outmaneuver the police.

“For months, individuals from Tzav 9 have 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 spokesperson Matthew Miller said Friday.

“They also have damaged aid trucks and dumped life-saving humanitarian aid onto the road.  On May 13, 2024, Tzav 9 members looted and then set fire to two trucks near Hebron in the West Bank carrying humanitarian aid destined for men, women, and children in Gaza,” he said.

Miller said the Israeli government “has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian convoys transiting Israel and the West Bank enroute to Gaza.”

“We will not tolerate acts of sabotage and violence targeting this essential humanitarian assistance,” he said. “We will continue to use all tools at our disposal to promote accountability for those who attempt or undertake such heinous acts, and we expect and urge that Israeli authorities do the same.”

Reuters first reported that the sanctions were being imposed.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order earlier this year allowing sanctions on those causing West Bank violence. The order has been used to roll out sanctions on Israeli settlers attacking Palestinians in recent months.

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