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Israel’s anger over possible US sanctions against a unit of its army

(Washington) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defense Minister responded strongly to information according to which Washington could sanction an Israeli army unit for possible abuses against Palestinians in the West Bank before the Hamas attack in October.



“The Israeli army must not be sanctioned!” » Netanyahu wrote on X.

“At a time when our soldiers are fighting the monsters of terror, the intention to impose sanctions on a unit of the Israeli army is the height of absurdity and an attack on morality,” he said SATURDAY.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also came to the aid of the targeted unit which, according to American and Israeli media, is the “Netzah Yehuda” battalion, made up largely of ultra-Orthodox soldiers.

“Damage to one unit affects our entire army, this is not a welcome step from our friends and allies,” Mr. Gallant commented in a statement released by his office on Sunday night. see you Monday.

PHOTO LEAH MILLIS, REUTERS ARCHIVES

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

After meeting with the Israeli Chief of Staff, General Herzi Halevi, Mr. Gallant declared that he was studying “the measures to be taken to prevent the implementation” of the sanctions.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about reports that the United States would stop military aid to certain units of the Israeli army, in connection with possible human rights violations in the West Bank before the 7 October and the unprecedented Hamas attack.

“I have come to conclusions. You can expect to know them in the coming days,” Blinken said.

The US official referred to the “Leahy Act”, which prohibits the US government from using funds to assist foreign security force units when there is credible information implicating them in human rights violations.

“This is an important law that we apply at all levels,” he added.

“And when we carry out these investigations (…), That takes time. This must be done very carefully, both in terms of gathering the facts and analyzing them, and that is exactly what we have done. And I think it’s fair to say that you will see the results very soon,” he continued.

Mr. Netanyahu promised to act “by all means” against possible sanctions targeting Israeli soldiers.

On Saturday, the American House of Representatives voted on a huge plan including $13 billion in military aid to Israel, in particular to strengthen the Israeli anti-missile shield, called “Iron Dome”.

The Israeli army has been mobilized for more than six months against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, devastated by the conflict, and on the Lebanese border where exchanges of fire with pro-Iranian Hezbollah are almost daily.