Caabu Press Release: Caabu welcomes UK decision on Israeli settler visa ban

Caabu Press Release: Caabu welcomes UK decision on Israeli settler visa ban

14 December 2023

Caabu welcomes the UK Government’s decision to ban extremist Israeli settlers from entering the UK, punishing those responsible for violent acts against Palestinians. This should serve as a first step towards the proper accountability for illegal Israeli settler activity and settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. As settler violence against Palestinians intensifies, this ban should be the bare minimum in the UK Government’s reaffirmation of its own position on the illegality of settlements.

The UK and its allies need to do far more. Action needs to be taken to prevent funding for Israeli settler organisations, including those that support activity to force Palestinians off their land. Given that settlements are illegal under international law, a full ban on trade with settlements should be an immediate priority.

Since 7 October, the UN has recorded 343 settler attacks against Palestinians. Settler violence has contributed to the forced displacement of at least 143 Palestinian households comprising 1,026 people, including 396 children in this period alone. The displaced were from 15 herding communities.

 There has been substantive pressure on the UK Government from Parliamentarians, civil society and the public for a long time. This includes a letter from 58 British politicians on 13 December 2023 calling for a ban on violent Israeli settlers and those who incite them, from entering the UK, which stated:

“Israel, as the occupying power in East Jerusalem, the rest of the West Bank and Gaza, has the sole responsibility for controlling the settlers, whose presence on occupied Palestinian land is itself illegal under international law. We express our grave concern not only that the Israeli army and police are ordered to protect the settlers only, and not the Palestinian people living under occupation, but that they have also been assisting Israeli settlers in attacks on Palestinian communities. All of this is directly contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.”

Caabu Chair and Conservative MP, David Jones, one of the signatories to the letter, said: 

“We applaud Lord Cameron’s words and actions. The dreadful events of 7th October are no excuse for the murderous attacks on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The United Kingdom is right to take robust action to exclude the perpetrators from our shores, and other countries should do the same. 

Israel must ensure that those responsible for the attacks are brought to justice as a matter of priority.”

Caabu’s Joseph Willits said:

“For too long, Israeli settlers across the occupied West Bank (which includes occupied East Jerusalem) have acted with impunity, backed by the Israeli state. There has been zero consequence or accountability for violent attacks (often resulting in the deaths and severe injuries of Palestinians), settler pogroms, harassment of Palestinians in their homes, fields, olive groves, or the coercive environment that has forced Palestinians from their homes and destroyed their livelihoods. Nor have successive Israeli governments who have driven such policy, ever been held accountable - rather the opposite. Palestinians forcibly evicted from their homes in Jerusalem’s Old City, Masafer Yatta and the Jordan Valley, to name but a few places, still await justice and the implementation of international law that thus far evades them as ethnic cleansing and ongoing Nakba continues, violence worsens, and the numbers of arrests increase. This should be the first long-awaited step of many for the UK to match up legality and morality.”


Notes to editors:

  1. For more information or interviews contact Joseph Willits on +44 (0)7860 860777