US mulling sanctions on more IDF units amid Israel’s protest

Tel Aviv, April 22 (IANS) Despite strong protests from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the proposed sanctions on an Israel Defense Forces’ wing, the US is mulling more action against some other IDF units.

Sources in the Israeli government told IANS that they had received information that the US was mulling sanctions on more Israeli military units for alleged human rights violations.

The US, according to sources, will announce sanctions against the Netzah Yehuda unit of the IDF this week. The Netzah Yehuda unit is comprised of largely ultra-Orthodox nationalists out of the West Bank.

The US State Department has, according to sources, probed Netzah Yehuda and several other units in the Israeli security forces for well over a year over alleged human rights violations.

The US has decided to sanction the Netzah Yehuda battalion for alleged repeated incidents of human rights violations against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement on Saturday night said, “The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) must not be sanctioned.”

The Israeli Prime Minister further said, “Our soldiers are fighting terrorist monsters, and the intention to impose sanctions on an IDF unit is the height of absurdity and a moral nadir.”

He added, “The government of Israel that I lead will act with all means against these moves.”

The far-right ministers in the Israeli government — Itamar Ben Gvir, who is the National Security Minister, and Bezalel Smotrich — denounced the reported US move to blacklist the IDF battalion.

Ben Gvir in a statement said, “Imposing sanctions on our soldiers is a red line.”

The minister further said that the reported move of the US was extremely serious and added, “The members of the Netzah Yehuda must be protected.”

He also called upon the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, not to submit before the US dictates.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich in a statement on the social media platform, X, came out strongly against the imposition of sanctions on Netzah Yehuda and said, “The move to sanction IDF battalion, while Israel is fighting for its existence is complete madness.”

“This is part of a planned move to force the State of Israel to agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state and to forsake Israel’s security,” he said.

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