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Netanyahu Vows To Reject U.S. Sanctions Threat On Army Units

1 month ago
1 min read

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared his staunch opposition to potential U.S. sanctions targeting one of the country’s military units.

Netanyahu’s comments came after reports developed proposing the United States plans to cut aid to Israel’s Netzah Yehuda unit over alleged human rights violations in the occupied West Bank.

“I will fight it with all my strength,” Netanyahu stated emphatically on Sunday, reaffirming his determination to resist any sanctions imposed on the military unit.

According to Axios, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to declare measures against Netzah Yehuda in reaction to reported abuses in the West Bank, including the demise of 80-year-old Palestinian-American Omar Assad during an Israeli military operation in January 2022. The occurrence incited calls from the U.S. for a comprehensive investigation and accountability.

In reaction to the allegations, the Israeli military declared that Netzah Yehuda works within the confines of international law. Defense Minister Yoav Chivalrous asked the U.S. to withdraw its intention to sanction the battalion, emphasizing the significance of maintaining strong ties between the two countries.

“The world is watching the relations between the U.S. and Israel more closely than ever,” Gallant cautioned, warning against actions that could cast a shadow on the IDF’s operations.

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The potential sanctions stem from the “Leahy Law,” enacted in 1997 to stop U.S. aid from supporting foreign military units involved in gross human rights infringement. Former U.S. officials have voiced concerns about the lack of responsibility for alleged abuses inside Israeli units, including Netzah Yehuda.

Josh Paul, a former director of the U.S. State Department’s Political-Military Affairs Bureau, revealed that different allegations against Israeli units, including Netzah Yehuda, had not been satisfactorily addressed. Paul resigned from his position in protest, citing the failure to hold culprits accountable.

Netzah Yehuda, established in 1999, is a special unit comprised of ultra-Orthodox Jewish servicemen. The approaching danger of sanctions against the battalion underscores the complexities of the Israel-U.S. relationship and the challenges of balancing military assistance with human rights concerns.

In a separate development, the U.S. recently imposed sanctions on Israeli far-right activist Ben Zion Gopstein and his organization Lehava, citing their inclusion in destabilizing exercises in the West Bank.


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