Biden Administration Said To Impose Sanctions on IDF Battalion Following Human Rights Concerns

The Biden Administration is set to announce sanctions against the IDF’s Netzah Yehuda battalion, marking the first time the United States has taken such a step against an Israeli military unit. The sanctions, reported by Axios, are in response to alleged human rights abuses by the battalion against Palestinians in the West Bank. This decision has stirred significant controversy and opposition within Israel, with top officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, vehemently opposing the move.

The Netzah Yehuda battalion, known for its composition of largely ultra-Orthodox soldiers, has been previously relocated from the West Bank to the north of Israel amid allegations of misconduct. Despite this, the US sanctions will restrict the transfer of American weapons to the unit and limit its involvement with US military activities based on the Leahy Laws, which prohibit US military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indicated that these measures are part of a broader effort to ensure compliance with international human rights standards, not just within Israel but globally. Israeli leaders, however, argue that sanctioning the Netzah Yehuda battalion sends the wrong message to their adversaries and undermines the solidarity among their forces.

Netanyahu wrote on social media platform X: “The IDF must not be sanctioned! I’ve been working in recent weeks against the sanctioning of Israeli citizens, including in my conversations with the American administration. At a time when our soldiers are fighting terrorist monsters, the intention to issue sanctions against a unit in the IDF is the height of absurdity and a moral low.”

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