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Business News/ News / World/  Israel-Iran: US may sanction Israeli unit over West Bank abuses, Joe Biden denounces campus ‘anti-semitism’ | 10 points

Israel-Iran: US may sanction Israeli unit over West Bank abuses, Joe Biden denounces campus ‘anti-semitism’ | 10 points

Israel-Iran Conflict: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reacted angrily to the possibility of a sanction on a military unit deployed in the West Bank, calling it “the height of absurdity”.

File image of United States President Joe Biden (Photographer: Bonnie Cash / UPI / Bloomberg)Premium
File image of United States President Joe Biden (Photographer: Bonnie Cash / UPI / Bloomberg)

Israel-Iran Conflict: The United States may soon impose sanctions on an Israeli military unit for its alleged human rights abuses in the occupied West Bank, as per an AFP report.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reacted angrily to the possibility, calling it “the height of absurdity", the report added.

Meanwhile, the US has also approved a bill to provide $26 billion in emergency aid to Israel. This came days after it vetoed Palestine's bid to become a full member of the United Nations (UN).

We take a look at the Top 10 Developments in the Middle East

  1. The US may soon sanction an Israeli military unit for its alleged human rights violations in the occupied West Bank territories, AFP reported. This was confirmed by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who told reporters his department had recommended funding cuts to an Israeli unit. Allegations against the Israeli unit precede the October 7 Hamas attack in southern Israel. Axios website citing sources saying Blinken is likely to announce the sanctions “within days".
  2. Confirming the development, Blinken told reporters “You will see results very soon", adding that investigations are on under the Leahy Law that prohibits sending military aid to foreign units that violate human rights, AFP reported.
  3. Israeli PM Netanyahu stated his anger at the possibility. “In recent weeks, I have been working against the imposition of sanctions on Israeli citizens, including in my conversations with senior American government officials. At a time when our soldiers are fighting the monsters of terror, the intention to impose a sanction on a unit in the IDF is the height of absurdity and a moral low. The government headed by me will act by all means against these moves," he wrote on X.
  4. Biden has condemned "any antisemitism on college campuses" as student bodies of prestigious New York schools such as Columbia University, camped out on the grounds demanding that their institutions "divest" from Israel in light of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, AFP reported. "Even in recent days, we've seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. This blatant anti-Semitism is reprehensible and dangerous — and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country," Biden said. US universities have become a hotbed of debate amid Israel's bombardment of Gaza post October 7, with many students' pro-Palestinian positions drawing accusations of anti-semitism.
  5. Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives approved a bill with a huge majority on April 20 to provide $26 billion in a new emergency aid package to Israel. This also includes around $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza.
  6. Iran has downplayed Israel's reported retaliation for its unprecedented drone and missile attack, tamping down fears that escalating attacks between the arch-enemies could tip over into a broader war in the Middle East. However, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei said, “Innovation in weapons and methods, knowledge of enemy's methods should be on agenda."
  7. On April 20, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan requested Palestinians to unite in Gaza, following hours-long talks with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul, AFP reported his office as saying. Despite trying to establish a foothold as a mediator in the Gaza conflict — which roiled the Middle East since 7 October, he couldn't do much. With a reported Israeli attack on Iran, the tensions in the region have escalated. However, this time Erdogan called on Palestinians to unite. "It is vital that Palestinians act with unity in this process. The strongest response to Israel and the path to victory lie in unity and integrity," Erdogan said according to a Turkish presidency statement.
  8. The US on April 18 vetoed a Palestinian request for full United Nations membership. It was the only country to do so, while 12 voted in favour and 2 were absent. Notably, after the US veto, President Mahmoud Abbas in a recent interview with the official WAFA news agency said that the Palestinian Authority will reconsider bilateral relations with the US.
  9. Palestinian Red Crescent said 14 dead in Israeli West Bank raid. According to the Associated Press, Israel conducted airstrikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight. As many as 18 people, including 14 children, were killed, health officials said Sunday. 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 from fighting elsewhere. It has also vowed to expand its ground offensive to the city on the border with Egypt despite international calls for restraint, including from the U.S. 
  10. Israel's COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories) said on Friday that 276 aid trucks carrying humanitarian supplies underwent inspection and were permitted entry into Gaza on Friday, CNN reported. COGAT, the Israeli military body responsible for administering Israeli policy in Gaza and the West Bank, disclosed this information. In an official post on X, COGAT disclosed the information while sharing the video of trucks entering Gaza carrying humanitarian supplies.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Published: 22 Apr 2024, 10:55 AM IST
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