Middle East

Netanyahu critical of reported US plans to sanction IDF unit

From Eugenia Yosef and Tim Lister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other ministers have sharply criticized the reported plans of the Biden administration to sanction a unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for alleged human rights abuses in the occupied West Bank.

The alleged abuses precede Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7 and are said to have involved members of the Netzah Yehuda battalion in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu posted on X at the weekend: “Sanctions must not be imposed on the Israel Defense Forces!”

“At a time when our soldiers are fighting the monsters of terror, the intention to impose a sanction on a unit in the IDF is the height of absurdity and a moral low,” Netanyahu said.

He claimed he and his government will “act by all means” against US efforts to sanction Israeli citizens.

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had made determinations about whether to cut funding to certain Israeli security units for reports of pre-October 7 human rights abuses. He did not name Netzah Yehuda.

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