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Daily News Analysis

Netzah Yehuda

23rd April, 2024 International Relations

Netzah Yehuda

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  • The US government may soon sanction a battalion of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) Netzah Yehuda over alleged human rights violations, marking the first such move in the history of the two countries’ relations.

Basis of US Sanctions:

  • The US is reportedly acting on concerns related to alleged human rights violations committed by the battalion, particularly incidents in the West Bank before Hamas attacked Israel in October the previous year.
  • An incident involving the death of a 78-year-old US-Palestinian citizen, Omar Assad, while in IDF custody has been highlighted. The IDF claimed he died of a heart attack, but allegations of mistreatment have been made.
  • The US State Department has expressed deep concern about Assad's death and called for a thorough investigation and accountability.
  • The potential sanction is believed to be based on the Leahy Laws in the US.

The Leahy Laws or Leahy Amendments are U.S. human rights laws that prohibit the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign security force units that violate human rights with impunity. It is named after its principal sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

Netzah Yehuda Battalion:

  • The Netzah Yehuda battalion was established in 1999 to accommodate the religious beliefs of ultra-Orthodox Jews and other religious nationalist recruits in the IDF. It's an all-male unit known for giving time for prayers and study and limiting interactions with female soldiers.
  • Criticisms and allegations of human rights violations, including torture and sexual assault of Palestinians, have been associated with the battalion over the years.

Refer to the article for a detailed understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/indias-stand-on-the-israel-palestine-issue#:~:text=Palestine%20needs%20to%20stay%20within,all%20its%20forms%20and%20manifestations.

Read for US- Israel relations in detail:





Q) Discuss the implications of the potential sanctions by the US government on the Netzah Yehuda battalion of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) over alleged human rights violations. Examine the significance of the Leahy Laws in guiding US foreign policy towards human rights violations committed by foreign security force units.( 250 Words)