US to impose sanctions on IDF battalion of religious soldiers

Netzah Yehuda will be denied US financial military aid as well as assistance with training from US troops.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

The Biden Administration is expected to announce unprecedented sanctions against a religious unit in the IDF for alleged human rights violations in Judea and Samaria occurring before October 7th.

Axios reports that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has decided that the Netzah Yehuda battalion will be denied military aid from the U.S. and that U.S. troops will not engage in training exercises with the battalion.

The sanctions are being issued in compliance with a 1997 Leahy law that forbids U.S. aid from being given to foreign military or police units that have been suspected of human rights violations.

Blinken announced the sanctions at a press conference in Italy and said, “You can expect to see them in the days ahead.”

The Biden Administration was also investigating other military and police units operating in Judea and Samaria for suspected violations but they were released from sanctions when they made recommended changes in their policies.

Netzah Yehuda is a battalion specifically geared for ultra-Orthodox soldiers.

The Netzah Yehuda unit was investigated over the January 12th, 2022 death of Omar Assad, an 80-year-old Palestinian Authority resident with American citizenship died of cardiac arrest following his detention by Netzah Yehuda soldiers.

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The sanctions against the ultra-Orthodox IDF unit follow U.S. financial and travel restrictions placed on individual Israelis accused of violence against Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

The New York Times claimed in its report in February that the move by the Biden Administration was made to appeal to Arab American voters ahead of the 2024 election.

Michael D. Shear of the New York Times wrote that the sanctions are “a forceful gesture aimed in part at Arab American voters in the United States who have expressed fury about the president’s backing of Israel’s war in Gaza.”

Additional sanctions have been issued against Ben-Zion Gopstein, founder and leader of Lehava, for alleged incitement against Arabs.

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