Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)
PM Netanyahu with US Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and US Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA)

The Biden Administration has decided not to impose sanctions against the IDF’s Netzah Yehuda Battalion, according to a report Wednesday by Ynet, citing Israeli sources.


There were a number of strong opponents to the plan to punish the unit for events that took place in 2022, and which had already been addressed by the IDF brass.

The sanctions came under consideration several months ago after a special State Department panel recommended that Secretary of State Antony Blinken ban American aid to multiple Israeli military and police units under the so-called Leahy Law. The recommendation came in response to allegations they committed serious human rights abuses, the ProPublica news outlet reported.

NGO Monitor Warns: Anti-Israel Group Behind Planned US Sanctions Against IDF’s Netzah Yehuda Unit

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement on Sunday vowing to challenge the move. “If somebody thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit in the IDF, I will fight this with all my powers,” he said.

The IDF also issued a statement in support of the battalion, comprised exclusively of Orthodox Jewish male soldiers.

“Over the past years, the battalion’s troops have been at the core of operational activities, working around the clock to maintain the security of the citizens of the State of Israel, in addition to being a leading battalion that integrates haredi soldiers in the IDF,” the IDF said, adding that the battalion was currently in the thick of operations taking place in Gaza.

The battalion had support in the United States as well, including from House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who said Wednesday that he called National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, threatening to “intervene” if the sanctions went through.

“We heard a rumor of this before our [aid] bill was actually brought for a vote in the House (last weekend) — I mean, hours before,” Johnson told Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio talk show host.

“No one knows this. But I called the White House immediately and talked with Jake Sullivan, and [Secretary of State] Tony Blinken was overseas at the moment. But I made him send me an email where he committed to me in writing that it would not affect any of the funding that we were working on to assist Israel in this critical time, and that they would be very judicious in that,” Johnson added.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.