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Retract them: No sanctions will be imposed on the battalion of ‘Netzach Yehudah’

Wikipedia, Netzach Yehudah. GDFL

In the past week, there have been serious concerns in Israel’s security system due to media reports about the American intentions to impose economic sanctions on the 97th Battalion of the IDF (“Eternity of Judea” – a battalion known for its combination of ultra-Orthodox Jews), due to the battalion’s actions in Judea and Samaria in recent years. An incident in which an elderly Palestinian who held American citizenship was killed because of what appeared to be abuse and deliberate abuse by the forces, caught American attention in particular. The sanctions would include banning the battalion of use of specific American equipment, training with U.S. military forces, or using bases that receive U.S. subsidies.

Beyond the fact that almost all the soldiers and commanders in the battalion have changed since that incident, senior Israeli officials have been very concerned by a “slippery slope” created by the American unprecedented step – which will enable various elements in the world who do not feel comfortable imposing sanctions on the entire IDF, to harm a particular unit that performs actions that they do not like. In addition, this could open the door to general sanctions on senior Israeli military officials, which could develop into arrest warrants in some countries around the world. Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Herzog, Defence Minister Galant, Cabinet member Gantz and opposition leader Lapid all expressed a united stance in opposing this move, in public statements and in dialog with American officials.

Finally, the public campaign and pressure did its part — and less than a week after the initial publication of American intentions, it was now known that the American administration had retracted its intention. The resolution was written by Secretary of State Blinken in a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson. This took place after receiving an official promise that the IDF would investigate the incidents carried out by the battalion in recent years, with an obligation to punish those responsible individually. While this is not an ideal situation for Israel, which now conducts internal investigations under international pressure, there is no doubt that this is a preferred option over the alternative.

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