update deskU.S. News

US sanctions Tzav 9 protest group for curbing aid delivery to Gaza

"The government of Israel has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian convoys transiting Israel and the West Bank en route to Gaza," Washington said.

Israelis protest against aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, Jan. 29, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Israelis protest against aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, Jan. 29, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

The U.S. State Department sanctioned the Tzav 9 (“Order 9”) protest movement, which it called “a violent extremist Israeli group that has been blocking, harassing and damaging convoys carrying lifesaving humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

“For months, individuals from Tzav 9 have repeatedly sought to thwart the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including by blockading roads, sometimes violently, along their route from Jordan to Gaza, including in the West Bank,” the State Department stated on Friday, using the term that the U.S. government typically applies to Judea and Samaria.

“They also have damaged aid trucks and dumped life-saving humanitarian aid onto the road,” Foggy Bottom added. “On May 13, 2024, Tzav 9 members looted and then set fire to two trucks near Hebron in the West Bank carrying humanitarian aid destined for men, women and children in Gaza.”

The State Department said that the Israeli government “has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian convoys transiting Israel and the West Bank en route to Gaza,” calling the aid “vital to preventing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza from worsening and to mitigating the risk of famine.”

“We will not tolerate acts of sabotage and violence targeting this essential humanitarian assistance,” the State Department said. “\We will continue to use all tools at our disposal to promote accountability for those who attempt or undertake such heinous acts, and we expect and urge that Israeli authorities do the same.”

At times, the State Department, White House and Pentagon have admitted publicly that Hamas—a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization—seizes much of the aid that crosses into Gaza. Hamas terrorists have reportedly sold aid that they have seized to Gazan civilians in the past, and the Israeli government frequently notes that trucks that Israel clears to enter Gaza laden with aid often sit idly on the Gazan side of the border without being distributed.

Israel has also said that many aid workers in Gaza have ties to Palestinian terror groups, and some ostensible humanitarian workers, including for the United Nations, are accused of participating directly in the Oct. 7 terror attack.

Foggy Bottom didn’t specify any individuals connected to Tzav 9 in the designation.

“So the Biden administration is sanctioning an Israeli group called Tzav 9 that is comprised of family members of the hostages,” wrote Hillel Fuld, a prominent pro-Israel activist and technology consultant.

“The group has tried to prevent aid from entering Gaza during the war,” Fuld wrote. “What other country would send aid into a military state during a war? The answer is, no other country. Only Israel.”

“Well, this group was unsuccessful in stopping the 1 billion pounds of food that has entered Gaza. Yes, you read that right. A billion pounds of food has entered Gaza,” Fuld added. “This is what the Biden administration is busy doing, sanctioning the hostages’ families.”

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