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Israeli leaders have lashed out over reports that the U.S. State Department plans to impose sanctions on at least one unit of the Israeli military for alleged human rights violations in the occupied West Bank, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it an “absurd” idea that he would work to avert.

The fierce denunciations came just hours after Israeli officials welcomed a bipartisan vote by Congress approving billions of dollars in aid for Israel, underscoring the dramatic swings and contradictions that have characterized recent relations between President Biden and Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Biden has both chided Mr. Netanyahu over civilian deaths in Gaza and has come to Israel’s aid in repelling an attack this month from Iran.

Any U.S. sanctions against the Israeli military — which the Axios news site reported will be announced in the coming days — would, however, be unprecedented.

Mr. Netanyahu said in a social media post that any sanctions against the Israeli military would be “the peak of absurdity and a moral low” at a time when Israeli forces are fighting a war in Gaza against Hamas, which the United States and many other countries classify as a terrorist organization. Mr. Netanyahu, a conservative, added that his government would “act by all means” against any such move, which Axios said will focus on the Netzah Yehuda battalion.

The battalion, which has been accused of violent incidents against Palestinians, was established for ultra-Orthodox Jewish males whose strict religious observance demands full gender separation. It also has attracted other Orthodox soldiers, including hard-line nationalists from the West Bank settler movement.

Israeli politicians from within the government and the parliamentary opposition also expressed alarm over any potential sanctions against the military. Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Mr. Netanyahu’s war cabinet and a former military chief, said it would set “a dangerous precedent.”

“The Netzah Yehuda battalion is an inseparable part of the Israel Defense Forces. It is subject to military law and is responsible for operating in full compliance with international law,” he added in a post Saturday night on X.

The Israeli military said that it was not familiar with plans to place sanctions on the battalion, but that if such a decision were made, its consequences would “be reviewed.” In a statement, it added that the Netzah Yehuda battalion was currently participating in the war effort in Gaza “bravely and professionally,” while upholding the values of the military and the principles of international law.

The Biden administration has been putting Israel on notice over rising levels of settler violence against Palestinians and anti-settlement activists in the occupied West Bank, imposing financial and travel sanctions on several individuals and, most recently, on two grass roots organizations raising funds for some of those individuals.

U.S. sanctions against an Israeli unit could be seen as a kind of counterweight after months of criticism and fury directed against President Biden, even from within his own party, over his backing of Israel’s war in Gaza as the death toll there has climbed. More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed during the six months of war, according to Gazan health officials.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, asked on Friday about a ProPublica report that a State Department panel had recommended disqualifying multiple Israeli military and police units from receiving U.S. aid following allegations of human rights abuses, said such investigations take time but that results would come “very soon.”

“I’ve made determinations; you can expect to see them in the days ahead,” he added.

Then on Saturday, Axios reported that the Netzah Yehuda battalion would face sanctions under the so-called 1997 Leahy Law that bans foreign military units accused of committing human rights violations from receiving U.S. aid or training. The State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The New York Times.

It was not clear what impact any sanctions against the unit would have, since funding of specific Israeli units is hard to track and the battalion does not receive American training.

One of the most egregious episodes attributed to the Netzah Yehuda battalion involved the death of a 78-year-old Palestinian-American man who was detained, gagged and handcuffed by members of the unit in a night raid on his village in January 2022.

An autopsy showed that the man, Omar Abdelmajed Assad, had died from a stress-induced heart attack brought on by injuries sustained while he was detained. An investigation by the Israeli military’s justice system found that there were failures in the conduct of the soldiers involved, who, the military said, “acted in a manner that did not correspond with what is required and expected of” Israeli soldiers.

The Israeli military disciplined three of the unit’s commanders after the investigation. But no criminal charges were brought against the soldiers because, the military said at the time, no causal link was found between the failures of the soldiers’ conduct and Mr. Assad’s death.

Adam Rasgon, Natan Odenheimer and Gabby Sobelman contributed reporting.

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