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Meeting with Netzah Yehuda Battalion, Israeli DM Gallant hits back against proposed US sanctions

'No one can teach us about values and morals,' Gallant tells the soldiers

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with IDF soldiers, April 22, 2024 (Photo: Yoav Gallant/X)

On Monday, the eve of Passover, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, the IDF battalion on which the U.S. is considering imposing sanctions for alleged human rights violations.

"No one in the world can teach us about values and morals," Gallant said, as reported by Israeli media.

"We are at the beginning of the war against seven armies and terrorist organizations. The security apparatus is behind you," he continued.

The Axios news outlet reported that an announcement by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding sanctions against the IDF's ‘Netzah Yehuda’ battalion is expected in the coming days. The unit is primarily composed of ultra-Orthodox Jews and has often been accused of abusing Palestinian citizens.

"The IDF Netzah Yehuda Battalion soldiers are currently participating in the war effort in the Gaza Strip. The battalion is professionally and bravely conducting operations in accordance with the IDF Code of Ethics and with full commitment to international law," the Israeli military stated in an official response.

Gallant and the IDF are working to reverse the expected U.S. decision.

Gallant met with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi on Monday to discuss Washington's intentions to impose the sanctions they discussed various courses of action to prevent this measure from being implemented.

Gallant also recently spoke with Blinken, as well as discussed the matter with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew.

“The commanders and troops of the Netzah Yehuda Battalion operate on the frontline – since the outbreak of the war, they have been working to push Hezbollah forces from the northern border, to thwart terrorism in Judea and Samaria, and most recently, they are operating to dismantle Hamas brigades in Gaza. They are risking their lives and fighting terrorism. The battalion’s activities are carried out in accordance with the values of the IDF and in accordance with international law. Any event that deviates from the aforementioned standards is addressed accordingly,” Gallant said in a statement released by the Ministry of Defense.

“Any attempt to criticize an entire unit casts a heavy shadow on the actions of the IDF, which operates to protect the citizens of Israel. Damage to one battalion, affects the entire defense establishment – this is not the right path for partners and friends,” the statement continued.

“Our friends and our enemies are closely watching the ties between Israel and the United States, now more than ever. I call on the U.S. administration to withdraw its intention to impose sanctions on the Netzah Yehuda battalion.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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