The European Union on Friday imposed sanctions on four “extremist” Israeli settlers and two groups over violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, Brussels said.

The decision was the second part of an agreement among EU member states that saw Palestinian Islamists Hamas last week sanctioned over sexual violence during the October 7 attack on Israel.

The move to target violent settlers in the West Bank comes two months after the United States and Britain took similar steps. The EU put two “radical” organizations, Lehava and the Hilltop Youth, on its asset freeze and visa ban blacklist for their attacks on Palestinians.

It also included Hilltop Youth leaders Meir Ettinger and Elisha Yered, along with settlers Neria Ben Pazi and Yinon Levi.

“The listed individuals and entities are responsible for serious human rights abuses against Palestinians,” said an EU statement. It said abuses included “torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” and “the violation of the right to property and to private and family life of Palestinians in the West Bank.”

The West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967, has seen a surge in violence in the past year, particularly since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in Gaza.

At least 468 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers across the West Bank since the October 7 Hamas assault on Israel that triggered the war, according to official Palestinian sources.


with AFP