Mon 22 Apr 2024 9:01 pm - Jerusalem Time

Dangerous sanctions.. Israeli writer: Have Israeli-American relations reached their end?

An Israeli legal expert said that US President Joe Biden's administration's intention to impose sanctions on the Netzah Yehuda Battalion of the Israeli occupation army may have far-reaching consequences and may make Israel vulnerable to international prosecution.

Lawyer and legal analyst, Dr. Matan Gutman, added in an article published on the website of Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, that it is difficult to explain the dangerous repercussions and far-reaching effects of imposing possible US sanctions on the Netzah Yehuda Brigade if the news reports on this subject are confirmed to be true.

He considered that the American administration taking such a step - if it happened - would mark the end of the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and a loophole that could tempt countries and international organizations to impose international, political and personal sanctions on any entity involved in Israeli activity in the West Bank, including officials and soldiers and Israelis living in settlements.

Barak Ravid, diplomatic correspondent for the Walla website, had quoted, on Saturday evening, from 3 American sources - whom he did not name - that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is expected to announce, in the coming days, sanctions against the Israeli Netzah Yehuda Brigade, against the backdrop of Violation of human rights in the West Bank.

This will be the first time ever that an American administration imposes sanctions on an Israeli military unit because of its activities in the West Bank, according to the same sources quoted by the Walla website.

These sanctions would have significant impacts on the army and economy, on Israeli law enforcement in the West Bank, and on Israel’s international standing, according to Yedioth’s analytical article.

Gutman noted that the sanctions on the Netzah Yehuda Battalion will be imposed under the Leahy Act, which was passed in 1997. This law states that the United States may not provide any assistance or conduct any dealings with a military force accused of committing serious human rights violations unless it is proven that the state in question takes effective steps to prosecute officials in the military unit accused of committing these violations.

According to the Leahy Act, not every human rights violation justifies the imposition of sanctions, but rather this is limited to serious violations such as intentional killing of civilians, torture, disappearance of persons, and rape that are used as a weapon of war, according to Gutman.

Gutman: By imposing sanctions on the Netzah Battalion unit, the United States has undermined Israel's self-defense argument on the international stage.

The legal expert explained in his article that the importance of imposing these sanctions is essentially a public expression of the United States’ lack of confidence in the military judicial system of the Israeli army and its ability to impose the law on its soldiers.

By imposing these sanctions, the United States - in the author’s opinion - has undermined the self-defense argument that Israel invokes on the international scene.

Gutman went on to say that the consequences of the new American policy will be dire, adding that the United States has apparently decided to use harsh legal tools to bring about a radical change in Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians.

This hypothesis requires Israel - according to the article - to do everything in its power to prevent Washington from imposing its sanctions on the Israeli army.

Source: Yedioth Ahronoth + Aljazeera


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Dangerous sanctions.. Israeli writer: Have Israeli-American relations reached their end?