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The Biden administration is preparing to impose travel bans on Israeli settlers accused of carrying out attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, according to reports.
A report from The Associated Press cited a senior U.S. official saying Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war Cabinet on Thursday that the administration desires to hold settlers accountable for these attacks, but would not act unilaterally.
Visa bans against an as-yet undetermined number of settlers could be announced as early as next week, the official said.
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A Palestinian home sits abandoned after its inhabitants left due to repeated instances of Israeli settler violence and harassment, in the Palestinian village of Khirbet Zanuta, West Bank. (MARCUS YAM/LOS ANGELES TIMES)
The official spoke to reporters accompanying Blinken on his latest trip to the Middle East as he flew from Tel Aviv to Dubai.
Blinken previously raised concerns over Israeli settler violence at a news conference on Thursday after his meetings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
“We’re looking to the Israeli government to take some additional steps to really put a stop to this. And at the same time, we’re considering our own steps,” he said.
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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Settlers affected by the travel ban would be excluded from the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of member countries visa-free entry into the United States for up to 90 days. Israel joined the program earlier this year.
The discussion of the travel ban comes as the Israeli Defense Forces enters what it calls the “next stage of the war” following the collapse of a cease-fire deal that was not extended into Friday.
Pakistan condemned the resumption of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza on Friday, accusing the Jewish state of “war crimes” and demanding a renewed cease-fire to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.
Smoke rises following an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
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Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch made the comments during a weekly news conference on Friday, The Associated Press reported.
The temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas first went into effect last Friday and lasted through Thursday.
Over the weeklong period, Hamas freed more than 100 of the hostages it was holding in the Gaza Strip in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners from Israel, according to The Associated Press.
Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo, Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this update.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]