US Hints At Sanctioning Israeli Unit Over Alleged Abuses

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Washington: The United States appears close to sanctioning an Israeli military unit over alleged human rights violations in the West Bank, a move the Israeli prime minister angrily denounced as "the height of absurdity."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at such steps when asked by a reporter in Italy about reports that his department had recommended cuts in military aid to an Israeli unit involved in violent incidents in the West Bank.

Blinken, without providing details, said his department was conducting investigations under a law that prohibits sending military aid to foreign security units that violate human rights with impunity.

He then added: "I think it's fair to say that you'll see results very soon. I've made determinations; you can expect to see them in the days ahead."

In late 2022 the State Department directed embassy staff in Israel to investigate alleged abuses in the West Bank by the army's ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda battalion.

That included a January 2022 incident which a 78-year-old Palestinian American died of a heart attack after being detained.

Although the allegations precede the Hamas October 7 attacks and Israel's retaliatory war in Gaza, the suggestion of any sanctions against Israeli forces drew an angry response from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Axios website, citing three US sources with knowledge of the matter, reported Saturday that Blinken was expected to announce sanctions against the battalion "within days."

It said the sanctions would ban the unit from receiving any US military aid or training.

An earlier report from ProPublica said a special State Department panel had recommended in December that Blinken disqualify several military and police units serving in the West Bank from receiving any US aid.

The latest developments came even as the US House of Representatives on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a bill to provide $26 billion in new emergency aid to Israel.


The Peninsula

Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.