US Set to Impose Sanctions on IDF Unit for Human Rights Violations

By Yoni Weiss

Israeli tanks seen in the Nur Shams refugee camp in the PA, during a raid searching for Palestinian terrorists, Friday. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

The US is poised to unveil sanctions against the IDF’s Netzach Yehuda Battalion in the coming days, according to three American sources familiar with the matter, Walla! News reported.

These sanctions stem from reported human rights violations committed against Palestinians in the PA, marking the first instance of the United States imposing sanctions on an IDF unit for activities in this region.

Sources indicate that the American sanctions will include a ban on the transfer of US military aid to the Netzach Yehuda Battalion, as well as restrictions on its soldiers and officers participating in training programs with the US military or activities funded by the US.

The basis for these sanctions lies in a 1997 law authored by former Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, which prohibits the provision of military aid or training to security forces, military units, or police entities when credible evidence of human rights abuses exists.

A senior US administration official informed Walla! News that Secretary Antony Blinken’s decision is rooted in incidents predating Oct. 7 and limited to actions occurring solely in the PA.

Notably, Blinken opted not to impose sanctions on several other IDF and Israel Police units also under scrutiny, as these units reportedly rectified their behavior.

A recent report by the American investigative website ProPublica revealed that a special committee of the State Department, tasked with probing allegations of human rights violations in the West Bank, recommended sanctions against multiple IDF and Israel Police units, urging a cessation of American funding.

Responding to inquiries during a press conference in Italy, Blinken confirmed having reached a decision on the matter and assured that an announcement would follow shortly.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed opposition to the reported intention to sanction the unit, condemning any punitive measures against the IDF. Netanyahu emphasized his government’s vigorous efforts to thwart sanctions against Israeli citizens, denouncing the proposed action as absurd and morally reprehensible, particularly amidst ongoing counterterrorism operations conducted by IDF soldiers. He pledged to utilize all available means to oppose such measures.

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