WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), members of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, and several of their congressional colleagues pressed the Biden Administration on West Bank settler violence.
“As Israel confronts the atrocities of the October 7th Hamas attacks, and threats in Gaza and southern Lebanon, it is crucial that U.S. and Israeli policy reinforce the stability and security of the West Bank,” the senators wrote in a letter to President Biden. “If additional action to prevent these violent settler activities is not taken, we worry that civilians and U.S. national security interests will suffer grave harm.”
In addition to Heinrich and Ossoff, the letter was sent by U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
The Times of Israel
that Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service, is concerned that settler violence could enflame the West Bank. On October 29, the United Nations also warned
of escalations in the West Bank.
“We are encouraged by recent statements from the White House emphasizing the need to mitigate settler violence. We also note the vital role that the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC) is playing to manage risk in the area,” the senators wrote. “However, more must be done. We urge your administration to enhance its diplomatic efforts to prevent further violence and respectfully request a briefing from your administration on current policy to address incidents of extremist settler violence and the forcible displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank.”
Read the senators’ letter to the President here