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IPFS News Link • Israel - Palestine

Middle East – live: US to 'sanction IDF for West Bank violations' as Israel launches...

• Shweta Sharma , Barney Davis , Tara Cobham

It would be the first time the US imposed sanctions on the Netzah Yehuda, or 'Judea Forever,' a special unit for ultra-Orthodox Jewish soldiers

The United States is expected to announce sanctions against the IDF's Netzah Yehuda battalion for alleged human rights abuses in the West Bank, according to a report.

It would be the first time the US imposed sanctions on an Israeli military unit and would see a ban on the battalion receiving any kind of US military assistance.

Netzah Yehuda, or "Judea Forever," is a special unit for ultra-Orthodox Jewish soldiers. It was formed with the aim of integrating a segment of the population that does not normally do military service.

But Israeli media have reported problems in the unit stemming from the hard-line ideology of many of the soldiers.

It came as Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight killed 18 people, including 14 children.

The first strike killed a man, his wife and their 3-year-old child, according to the nearby Kuwaiti Hospital. The woman was pregnant, and the doctors managed to save the baby, the hospital said. Israel has carried out near-daily air raids on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza's population of 2.3 million has sought refuge.