On February 1, 2024, President Biden issued Executive Order 14115 (“EO 14115”) targeting persons involved in activities that threaten the peace, security, and stability in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the UK government announced on 12 February 2024 sanctions on “extremist Israeli settlers” who have committed human rights abuses against Palestinian communities.

Pursuant to EO 14115, four individuals were added to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”). Concurrently, the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued an alert advising of red flags to assist US financial institutions in identifying suspicious activities that finance Israeli extremist settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Four individuals have been designated by the UK under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 for threatening and perpetrating acts of aggression and violence against Palestinian individuals in the West Bank. These UK sanctions implement financial and travel restrictions on the designated persons.

Please see here for our recent blog post regarding the coordinated sanctions by United States, United Kingdom, and Australia targeting Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

EO 14115

EO 14115 gives the US Department of State, in consultation with the US Department of the Treasury, the authority to impose blocking sanctions against any foreign persons determined to:

  1. Have directly or indirectly engaged in the following actions, including:
    • Actions (including directing, enacting, implementing, enforcing, or failing to enforce policies) that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the West Bank; or
    • Planning, ordering, directing, or participating in any of the following actions affecting the West Bank:
      • Violence or threat of violence targeting civilians;
      • Efforts to place civilians in reasonable fear of violence with the purpose or effect of necessitating a change of residence to avoid such violence;
      • Property destruction; or
      • Seizure or dispossession of property by private actors;
  2. Have committed or have attempted to commit, pose a significant risk of committing, or have participated in training to commit acts of terrorism affecting the West Bank; or
  3. Be or have been a leader or official of an entity (including any government entities) that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, any of the activities described in (a) or (b) above.

US Persons are generally prohibited from dealing, directly or indirectly, with such persons sanctioned under EO 14115 (Specially Designated Nationals, or “SDNs”), entities that are owned 50% or more by one or more SDNs, and their property or property interests. Non-US persons may be held liable for “causing” violations by US Persons involving transactions with SDNs and may also be subject to secondary sanctions risks for providing “material support” to SDNs. Secondary sanctions risks include the risk of being designated as an SDN.

Following EO 14115, four individuals were added to the SDN List due to their roles in threatening the peace, security, and stability of the West Bank, according to this statement by the US Department of State. Additional persons may be designated to the SDN List pursuant to EO 14115 in the future.

FinCEN Alert

Alongside EO 14115, FinCEN issued an alert providing a list of red flags to assist US financial institutions in identifying and reporting suspicious activities that relate to the financing of Israeli extremist settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank. The alert provides four red flags that financial institutions should consider. The alert notes that no single red flag is necessarily indicative of illicit or suspicious activity and financial institutions should consider all the surrounding facts and circumstances before determining whether a specific transaction is suspicious or associated with potential Israeli extremist settler violence. The alert instructs financial institutions to use the new key term (“FIN-2024- WBEXTREMISM”) in Suspicious Activity Reports filed with FinCEN. It also reminds banks to apply a risk-based approach to customer due diligence requirements when developing the risk profiles of charities and other non-profit customers.

UK Sanctions Against Extremist Israeli Settlers

The updates to the UK’s designated party list, which came into force on 12 February 2024, impose on the Israeli settlers:

  • a UK asset freeze, which prohibits parties from dealing with a sanctioned person’s assets (including funds and property) and making funds or economic resources available (directly or indirectly) to a sanctioned person, and restricts designated parties’ access to financial services and markets; and
  • a travel ban, prohibiting the designated parties from entering into or remaining in the UK.

The UK Government has stated that these new measures follow a year of ‘unprecedented’ violence in the occupied West Bank.

The UK Government has stated that it will consider additional actions, including further sanctions, as it considers necessary.


Ms. Lis has extensive experience advising companies on US laws relating to exports and reexports of commercial goods and technology, defense trade controls and trade sanctions — including licensing, regulatory interpretations, compliance programs and enforcement matters. She also has advised clients on national security reviews of foreign investment administered by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), including CFIUS-related due diligence, risk assessment, and representation before the CFIUS agencies.


Alex advises clients on compliance with US export controls, trade and economic sanctions, export controls (Export Administration Regulations (EAR); International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)) and antiboycott controls. He counsels on and prepares filings to submit to the US Government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) with respect to the acquisition of US enterprises by non-US interests. Moreover, Alex advises US and non-US companies in the context of licensing, enforcement actions, internal investigations, compliance audits, mergers and acquisitions and other cross-border transactions, and the design, implementation, and administration of compliance programs. He has negotiated enforcement settlements related to both US sanctions and the EAR.


Sven Bates is Of Counsel for International Trade at Baker McKenzie. He has spent the majority of his career at the Firm's London office, focusing on international trade compliance, trade remedies and anti-bribery. He has also practiced in Amsterdam and has previously worked for the European Commission and the Shadow Attorney General. Sven has extensive experience in particular in the financial services sector, and has undertaken secondments at a Tier 1 UK bank and the Lloyd's insurance market.



Vivian advises clients on a wide range of international trade issues, including US export controls such as the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), sanctions, internal investigations, and voluntary disclosure filings to the US government. She also advises clients on M&A export control, sanctions, and customs and import law due diligence reviews of target companies, in collaboration with the Firm’s M&A team in multiple jurisdictions. Further, Vivian’s practice covers multijurisdictional commercial transactions including contract localizations and post-acquisition integrations.