Netanyahu to reject any sanctions on army units

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to reject any sanctions on the country’s military, after reports that the US plans to cut aid to one unit.

“I will fight it with all my strength,” the prime minister said on Sunday.

Earlier, the Axios news site said the US would target Israel’s Netzah Yehuda battalion over alleged human rights violations in the occupied West Bank.

The BBC understands any move would come under a US ban on aid to foreign units credibly implicated in violations.

When asked last week about reports that US military aid to the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) units could be cut over allegations of human rights abuses in the occupied West Bank, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “I’ve made determinations; you can expect to see them in the days ahead”.

Washington – Israel’s main ally – has never suspended aid to an IDF unit before.

The Israeli military said Netzah Yehuda was operating in accordance with international law.

“Following publications about sanctions against the battalion, the IDF is not aware of the issue,” the military is quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. “The IDF works and will continue to work to investigate any unusual event in a practical manner and according to law.”

Reuters”If anyone thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit of the IDF, I will fight it,” Mr Netanyahu said

On Saturday, Axios cited three US sources with knowledge of the issue as saying that Mr Blinken was expected to announce measures against Netzah Yehuda within days.

It said the move would be over alleged abuses in the West Bank, including one incident in which a Palestinian-American man, 80-year-old Omar Assad, died after being bound and gagged by Israeli soldiers during a search in the West Bank in January 2022.

At the time the US called for a “thorough criminal investigation and full accountability” in the case.

The IDF later said it regretted Mr Assad’s death and that the Netzah Yehuda commander would be “reprimanded”over it. It added that two soldiers would barred from serving in senior positions for two years, but would not be prosecuted. It said Mr Assad’s death had been caused by a pre-existing medical condition.

Mr Assad’s family, many of whom are based in the US, condemned the decision to close the case.

The post Netanyahu to reject any sanctions on army units appeared first on

Leave a Reply