More Israeli Military Units Under US Scrutiny for Rights Violations, Possible Sanctions

The United States is considering imposing sanctions on additional Israeli military and police units accused of human rights violations against Palestinians, in addition to the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, as reported by The Times of Israel.

The State Department has been investigating alleged human rights abuses involving Netzah Yehuda and other units in the Israeli security forces for over a year.

The decision to designate the Netzah Yehuda Battalion for sanctions this week by the Biden administration follows multiple incidents of misconduct against Palestinians that were not addressed by Israeli authorities, according to a U.S. official.

In a rare move, the IDF decided in December 2022 to relocate the infantry unit out of the West Bank to reduce contact with Palestinians. However, no specific actions were taken to hold individual soldiers accountable for their behaviors.

If the sanctions are enforced, Israel will be prevented from using U.S. military aid to purchase weapons for Netzah Yehuda. Nevertheless, Israel could still use its own funds to arm the battalion, according to a second U.S. source.

This move reflects a growing trend, with other Western nations likely to follow suit in targeting units repeatedly accused of unjustly targeting Palestinians, similar to the sanctions imposed on violent settlers.

While much attention is on actions in the West Bank, there is speculation that investigations could expand to units operating in Gaza. This speculation arises amid a rise in social media videos by IDF soldiers during the conflict with Hamas, showing violations of the IDF’s code of conduct.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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