Ultra-Orthodox Netza Yehuda Battalion, the Israeli “Wagner Group” that the US wants to ban

An Israeli army battalion is the latest disagreement between Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu. As published by American media on Saturday axiosWashington plans to impose Israel’s Netzah Yehuda battalion banned Under the Leahy Act, the US State Department is required to suspend military aid if it finds substantial evidence of serious human rights abuses and violations.

A report published last week by ProPublica Noted that a group of State Department experts had months ago recommended that Secretary of State Antony Blinken be included in Blacklist several Israeli military and police unitsNetzah Yehuda was also involved, following a study on abuses against Palestinians.

However, Israel has attacked the White House’s plans. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin netanyahuannounced last weekend that such a measure would “height of absurdity and moral turpitude“, at a time when its troops are fighting Hamas in Gaza. Netanyahu promised to take “all possible action” to oppose such a decision.

(A green, modern Gaza without Palestinians: The Israeli far-right’s plan to colonize the Strip)

pigtail gantzThe cabinet minister and Netanyahu’s main rival also did not welcome the news. “I greatly appreciate our American friends, but the decision to impose sanctions on an IDF unit is shocking dangerous example“, he claimed.

What is the Netzah Yehuda Battalion?

Netzah Yehuda, also known as the 97th Battalion of the Kfir Infantry Brigade, was created as a military unit in 1999. especially men To meet the religious needs of ultra-orthodox haredi menWho have been exempted from mandatory military service since the creation of Israel in 1947. So the group was created for volunteers who wanted to serve in the military, even if they were not required to do so.

Currently, according to Middle East Eye, the unit has about 1,000 soldiers and approximately Unique Features in the Israeli Defense Forces: Non-Jews are excluded, there are strict religious dietary rules, and strict gender segregation is maintained (only wives of officers can access their bases). “Battalion Attracts religious ZionistsThat combines Jewish religious interpretations with nationalist militarism,” Marwa Maziyad, a professor of Israel studies at the University of Maryland, told Middle East Eye.

This has been the battalion’s theme since its inception Many disputes in the West Bank, its primary area of ​​operations, although it is now also participating in the war in Gaza. This has prompted Aharon Bregman, a political scientist and expert on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict at King’s College London, to draw a comparison.Wagner Group“, in terms of its methods and operations, as stated in an interview with France 24.

According to research done by wall street journal In 2022, Netzah Yehuda is a military unit of the Israeli Defense Forces. Highest conviction rate for crimes against Palestinians Among other controversies, in 2016 a soldier was sentenced to 9 months in prison for using electrodes to torture Palestinian detainees. In 2019, an officer and four soldiers were convicted of beating Palestinian detainees and recording it on video.

(Netanyahu, in the footsteps of Golda: The errors of 7-O surround him just as the failures of Yom Kippur surround him)

Will the sanction apply?

Leahy Law, as reported Washington Post, has been implemented in many foreign police and military units in the past, such as Colombia, Mexico and Cambodia. still, It has rarely been used against close political associates. of the United States, which could underline the strain in relations between Washington and Tel Aviv during the six-month conflict in Gaza. Despite this, on Wednesday the Senate approved a project promoted by Democrats $26.4 billion military aid to Israel,

on Friday, blinken Leahy’s law is called “”very important law“. “This is what we apply in all areas. And when we are doing this investigation, this investigation, it takes time. While collecting facts and analyzing them, it should be done very carefully. And that’s exactly what we did. And I think it’s fair to say that You will see results very soon“The Secretary of State said in collected statements Washington Post,

(TagstoTranslate)Palestinian–Israeli conflict(T)West Bank(T)Middle East

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