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US sanctions groups raising funds for violent Israeli settlers

The US has imposed sanctions on two entities that it said helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for violent Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, the Treasury department announced on Friday.

Earlier this year, Washington sanctioned five violent settlers and two illegal outposts in the West Bank.

One of the entities sanctioned on Friday, Mount Hebron Fund, launched an online fundraising campaign that raised $140,000 for settler Yinon Levi, according to Treasury, after he was sanctioned on 1 February.

Levi had led a group of Israeli settlers who assaulted Palestinian civilians and burned their properties and agricultural lands.

The other entity, Shlom Asiraich, raised $31,000 for David Chai Chasdai, who Washington said initiated and led a violents riot in the Palestinian town on Huwwara with resulted in the death of a Palestinian civilian.

“Such acts by these organisations undermine the peace, security, and stability of the West Bank. We will continue to use our tools to hold those responsible accountable," Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in the statement.

The Treasury also sanctioned Ben-Zion Gopstein, founder of right-wing group Lehava, which opposes Jewish assimilation with non-Jews. It said Lehava's members “have engaged in violence, including assaults on Palestinian civilians.”