Halevi and Gallant
Halevi and GallantAriel Hermoni, Defense Ministry

Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant on Sunday night held a discussion with IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi regarding the developing report on US intentions to impose sanctions against the IDF’s “Netzach Yehuda” battalion. Minister Gallant and Lt. Gen. Halevi discussed various courses of action to prevent this measure from being implemented.

Minister Gallant recently completed a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the issue. Earlier on Sunday, Minister Gallant also held a discussion with US Ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew.

The Minister instructed the defense establishment to cooperate on all levels with U.S. counterparts, in order to reflect the importance of supporting IDF operations, which are carried out in accordance with international law.

“The commanders and troops of the Netzach 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,” said Gallant.

“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,” he added.

“Our friends and our enemies are closely watching the ties between Israel and the United States, now more than ever. I call on the US Administration to withdraw its intention to impose sanctions on the Netzach Yehuda battalion,” concluded Gallant.

Earlier on Sunday, the chairman of the National Unity Party, Minister Benny Gantz, spoke with Blinken and expressed his concern over the decision to impose sanctions on the Netzach Yehuda Battalion.

Gantz warned the Secretary of State that the apparent decision to impose sanctions on the battalion would be a "double mistake: it will hurt Israel's legitimacy during the war, and it has no justification since Israel has a strong and independent judicial system, and all IDF units are subject to the IDF orders, which comply with international law. Gantz asked Blinken to reconsider the matter," the minister's office stated.