NewsIsraeli Official Appeals to U.S. Against Sanctions on Netzah Yehuda Battalion

Israeli Official Appeals to U.S. Against Sanctions on Netzah Yehuda Battalion

USA wants to impose sanctions on an Israeli military unit.
USA wants to impose sanctions on an Israeli military unit.
Images source: © East News | Graeme Sloan
7:13 AM EDT, April 22, 2024

Israeli Cabinet member Beni Gantz urged US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday to reconsider imposing sanctions on the Israeli battalion Netzah Yehuda for human rights violations in the occupied West Bank, as reported by the Times of Israel.

Gantz argued that sanctions on the battalion, which is seen as a group of orthodox Judaism followers, could undermine Israel's international standing in its battle against the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, he acknowledged during his discussion with Blinken.

He further stated that "the infantry unit is 'an integral part of the IDF' and was bound by military and international law."

Sanctions on the battalion

The American news outlet Axios disclosed on Saturday plans to sanction the battalion over allegations of crimes committed in the West Bank before the Hamas assault on Israel on October 7, 2023.

This move would mark the first time the US has imposed restrictions on an Israeli military unit. The sanctions could halt all US military aid to the battalion.

Media reports have cited the murder in 2022 of 80-year-old Palestinian Omar Assad, who also held US citizenship, as one of the crimes attributed to the Israeli battalion.

Following the so-called Six-Day War in 1967, Israel took control of the Golan Heights from Syria, the West Bank from Jordan, parts of Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai Peninsula, which was later returned to Egypt in 1979 under the Egyptian-Israeli peace accord.

An independent Palestinian state, as advocated by the Palestinians and supported by portions of the international community, would encompass the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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