Antony Blinken
Antony BlinkenREUTERS/Remo Casilli

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that there would not be an announcement regarding sanctions against the IDF’s Netzach Yehuda Battalion, but told reporters they should “stay tuned”.

On Saturday, Axios reported that the US is expected, over the course of the next week, to impose sanctions on the Netzach Yehuda battalion over what was described as “human rights abuses”.

The sanctions will prevent the transfer of American aid or equipment to the battalion, and prevent its officers from training with US forces.

Blinken told reporters on Monday that an announcement is expected “in the days ahead” on State Department findings on whether to restrict assistance to Netzach Yehuda.

US restrictions on military assistance over human rights abuses are required under the Leahy Law, named for former Sen. Patrick Leahy, author of the 1997 legislation that requires the US to cut off assistance to any foreign military or law enforcement units if it’s determined there is credible evidence of human rights violations.

“With regard to the Leahy Law report that I think you’re referring to at the outset, this is a good example of a process that is very deliberate and seeks to get the facts, to get all the information that has to be done carefully,” Blinken said Monday in response to a question from a Reuters reporter.

“I think you’ll see in the days ahead that we will have more to say, so please stay tuned on that,” he added.

The expected announcement of US sanctions on Netzach Yehuda has been met with outrage in Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Sunday, “I will sacrifice myself to defend a unit in the IDF, I will fight it with all my might. As our soldiers are united in defending us on the battlefield, we are united to defend them on the diplomatic front. Together we will fight, and with God's help, together we will win."

Minister Benny Gantz said on Sunday he spoke with Blinken and “warned the Secretary of State that the apparent decision to impose sanctions on Netzach Yehuda 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."

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also spoke to Blinken on Sunday night and said he raised the issue with Blinken.

However, the official readouts from the State Department of both calls made mention of other issues that were discussed and did not mention the issue of the sanctions on Netzach Yehuda being brought up.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Passover in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)