US imposes sanctions on Israeli group for blocking Gaza aid

Washington DC - The US on Friday imposed sanctions on extremist Israeli group Tzav 9, accusing it of blocking convoys and looting and burning trucks trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Israeli border police stand guard in front of an Egyptian truck on the sidelines of a demonstration aimed at blocking aid trucks from entering the Palestinian territory on January 29, 2024.
Israeli border police stand guard in front of an Egyptian truck on the sidelines of a demonstration aimed at blocking aid trucks from entering the Palestinian territory on January 29, 2024.  © Menahem KAHANA / AFP

Since the war erupted, essential aid deliveries to Gaza have been severely restricted by the Israeli government, leaving many people short of food and water and several thousand children suffering acute malnutrition.

Tzav 9 is a right-wing activist group seeking to halt any aid arriving in Gaza so long as Israeli hostages are held in the Palestinian territory.

"Individuals from Tzav 9 have repeatedly sought to thwart the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including by blockading roads, sometimes violently," the US State Department said.

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"They also have damaged aid trucks and dumped life-saving humanitarian aid onto the road."

The State Department statement said that on May 13, Tzav 9 members looted and set fire to two trucks in the West Bank carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.

"The provision of humanitarian assistance is vital to preventing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza from worsening and to mitigating the risk of famine," it said.

"We will not tolerate acts of sabotage and violence targeting this essential humanitarian assistance."

The US, the top supporter of Israel, has already imposed sanctions on a number of settler extremists since the start of the war.

Cover photo: Menahem KAHANA / AFP

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