U.S. Considers Imposing Sanctions on Israeli Military Unit

The United States is considering imposing sanctions on one or more Israeli battalions accused of human rights violations during operations in the occupied West Bank, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.

Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Saturday called the possibility of the Biden administration’s placing such sanctions “the peak of absurdity and a moral low” at a time when Israeli forces are fighting a war in Gaza against Hamas. Mr. Netanyahu said in a social media post that his government would “act by all means” against any such move.

The news about the possible sanctions, reported earlier by Axios, came only a day after the House approved $26 billion for Israel and humanitarian aid for civilians in conflict zones, including Gaza. The sanctions, if imposed, would not hold up the military aid that was just approved in Congress.

On Sunday, Palestinians in the West Bank went on a general strike to protest a deadly Israeli military raid at a refugee camp. At least 10 people were killed in the raid on Saturday, the latest operation in a sweeping economic and security clampdown in the Israeli-occupied territory.

Since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and detained in raids in the West Bank, which Israeli officials describe as counterterrorism operations against Hamas and other armed groups.

The strike on Sunday “paralyzed all aspects of life” in the West Bank, with shops, schools, universities and banks shuttered, according to the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa. Public transportation also was halted.

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