Netzah Yehuda, an Israeli military unit, faces US sanctions. Who are they? | World News - Hindustan Times
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Netzah Yehuda, an Israeli military unit, faces US sanctions. Who are they?

Apr 22, 2024 12:55 PM IST

The US has imposed sanctions connected to Israeli settlers in West Bank, indicating a mounting sense of frustration with policies of Israel's Netanyahu.

The United States is expected to impose sanctions on an Israeli military unit, Netzah Yehuda, marking the first instance of US sanctions against Israel. The move is expected to escalate tensions between the two allies amid Israel's conflict in Gaza. On Friday, the US announced sanctions connected to Israeli settlers in the West Bank, indicating a mounting sense of frustration with the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Although US officials have chosen not to specify the unit targeted for sanctions, Israeli leaders and local media have identified it as Netzah Yehuda. (File)(Bloomberg)
Although US officials have chosen not to specify the unit targeted for sanctions, Israeli leaders and local media have identified it as Netzah Yehuda. (File)(Bloomberg)

“If anyone thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit in the IDF, I will fight it with all my might,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said.

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Although US officials have chosen not to specify the unit targeted for sanctions, Israeli leaders and local media have identified it as Netzah Yehuda. This infantry battalion was established around twenty-five years ago “to integrate ultra-Orthodox men into the military.”

The military said, "Following publications about sanctions against the battalion, the IDF is unaware of the issue."

The Israeli military further said, “If a decision is made, it will be reviewed. The IDF works and will continue to investigate any unusual event in a practical manner and according to law.”

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz, a former armed forces chief, revealed on Sunday that he had spoken with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and urged him “to reconsider the matter.”

In response, the State Department confirmed Blinken's discussions with Gantz and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant regarding Israel's security, efforts to contain the Gaza conflict, and the urgent need for a ceasefire and increased humanitarian aid flow to Gaza civilians.

However, the US statements did not mention sanctions.

Who are the Netzah Yehuda?

- Netzah Yehuda, also known as Judea Forever, has historically been stationed in the occupied West Bank and has been associated with instances of mistreatment of Palestinians. Despite this, it represents only a small portion of Israel's military presence in the region.

- In 2022, the unit came under substantial scrutiny from the US after the passing of an elderly Palestinian-American man shortly following his detention at a West Bank checkpoint. As a result, the battalion commander of Netzah Yehuda received a reprimand, and two officers were dismissed for the incident.

- This incident raised concerns in Washington. Additionally, there have been other incidents in recent years, some captured on video, where Netzah Yehuda soldiers have been accused of or charged with mistreating Palestinian detainees.

- In recent years, there have been numerous other incidents, some of which were recorded on video, according to Reuters, where Netzah Yehuda soldiers faced allegations or charges of mistreating Palestinian detainees.

- The Israeli military asserts that the Netzah Yehuda battalion operates as an active combat unit in accordance with international law principles.

(With inputs from Associated Press, Reuters)

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