(Bloomberg) -- The European Union is considering punitive measures on Hamas leaders and Israeli settlers in response to violence stemming from the Israel-Hamas war, with both proposals discussed by the bloc’s foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.
Josep Borrell, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, told reporters after the meeting that his agency was working on the proposal to sanction extremist Israeli settlers and would soon submit it to member states. The move drew early support from countries including Belgium and Slovenia.
The proposed measures against Israeli settlers, which are still in early stage discussions and aim to address settler violence in the West Bank, could involve travel bans, asset freezes and a ban on imports of products made by settlers, according to a senior EU official. Both moves would align with steps already taken by the US.
In addition to the devastation in Gaza, the bloc is alarmed by the violence in the West Bank by extremist settlers and approval by the Israeli government to expand such settlements, Borrell said.
The separate proposal for sanctions on Hamas was largely backed by the ministers, Borrell said, though some underlined the importance of also imposing punitive measures on the Israeli settlers.
While Hamas already faces constraints as an EU-listed terror organization, the bloc is set to adopt within weeks additional sanctions targeting leaders of the group and their financing, according to the senior EU official.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna earlier told reporters her country, along with Italy and Germany, were in favor of plans to impose individual measures on Hamas leaders.
Borrell said he also submitted a paper to the ministers outlining possible options for Gaza after the war ends, saying it was “very well received.”
--With assistance from Jan Bratanic.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
BNN Bloomberg Picks
Group RRSP use rising as retirement savings burden 'largely on employees': experts
Canada tax changes to be aware of in 2024
45 cents short, $96 in fees: Court approves TD insufficient fund fees settlement
Makers of COVID-19 protective equipment seek over $5 billion in damages from Ottawa
Immigration surge fuels male population boom in Canada
Bank of Canada to halt its QT program within months, RBC says