Israel Caught Ordering Soldiers To Kill US Citizens Who Support Palestine

The Israeli government has authorized soldiers to detain and execute US citizens in Israel who show support for Palestine.

In shocking recordings obtained by The Grayzone, a soldier for Israel’s Netzah Yehuda battalion detailed his unit’s killing of a 78-year-old American, and flaunted his genocidal views. After announcing plans to sanction the battalion, the Biden regime has inexplicably decided to remain silent. reports: The Biden administration has balked after announcing plans to sanction five units of the Israeli military accused of wanton human rights abuses in the occupied West Bank. “Four of these units have effectively remediated these violations, which is what we expect partners to do,” the US State Department has claimed, referencing unknown efforts by Israel to hold its soldiers accountable.

The fifth, un-remediated unit appears to be Netzah Yehuda, an all-male unit of Orthodox Jewish nationalists which operates almost exclusively in the Ramallah district of the West Bank. This battalion stands accused of widespread crimes including sexual assault and beating at least three older men to death while they were lying on the ground in custody.

In its most brazen instance of abuse, Netzah Yehuda soldiers detained an 78-year-old American citizen named Omar Asad in January 2022 near his home in Ramallah, then left him outdoors in harsh conditions, bound and blindfolded, until he died. Israeli authorities refused to charge the soldiers for Asad’s killing, opting instead for a disciplinary slap on the wrist while paying compensation to Asad’s family. 

A report by the Washington DC-based human rights organization, DAWN, found that the commander of the unit at the time of Asad’s killing, Lt. Col. Mati Shevach, was later promoted to Deputy Commander of the Kfir Brigade, which oversees the Netzah Yehuda formation.

Despite Netzah Yehuda’s documented record of abuses, the Biden administration has seemingly halted its plans to sanction the battalion in the face of furious protests by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During an April 29 State Department press briefing, reporters pressed spokesman Vedant Patel to explain why the administration had hesitated.

“This is an ongoing process,” Patel insisted. “I’m not going to speak to it more specifically, but consistent with the memorandum of understanding that we have with the government of Israel, we are engaging with them, consulting with them as it relates to not just this broader process but additional information that they’ve shared.” 

While the State Department claims to be “still deciding” whether to sanction Netzah Yehuda, The Grayzone has obtained testimony by an apparent veteran of the unit gleefully boasting about the killing of Asad. According to the self-described soldier’s account, the unit sadistically brutalized the elderly Palestinian American as punishment for supposedly interfering with a raid it was conducting at the time.

“This geezer who’s like trying to interfere with our operation, we’re going to like, fuck with him for a night,” the soldier said. 

The self-proclaimed Netzah Yehuda member referred to Arabs as “murders, criminal animals,” while boasting that he enjoyed killing and torturing Palestinians, likening himself and members of his unit to Americans who photographed themselves with dead Japanese soldiers during World War II, “doing funny things with their bodies.” 

“Yeah, I enjoy it because they’re our enemy,” he declared.

The relevant portion of the Netzah Yehuda soldier’s testimony is below:

Self-described “racist” apparently confesses to Palestinian-American’s killing

The Grayzone has been unable to verify the identity of the self-declared Israeli soldier who testified to witnessing the killing of Omar Asad. However, the detailed and entirely spontaneous account he provided of Asad’s killing and his own role in Netzah Yehuda lend credibility to his testimony.

The confession arrived during a series of arguments between the soldier and a self-described “AI artist” and Palestine solidarity activist on the social media chat site, Discord. The activist, who identifies elsewhere as “NuclearDiffusion” recorded the conversations and provided them to The Grayzone on June 8, 2022, just hours after publishing a portion of the confession on Reddit. Their own voice could not be heard because they documented the exchanges with a screen capture application.

NuclearDiffusion told The Grayzone they met the self-described Israeli soldier on the Palestine section of the “Politics” chat room on Discord. Within moments, the two struck up a heated argument about the conflict.

Speaking in an American accent, the soldier volunteered that he had been posted to “the 97th Netzah Yehuda Battalion in the 900 Kfir Brigade in the 99th paratrooper division.” 

“My battalion,” he divulged, “is a specifically religious battalion that’s being investigated by the government. My battalion – the ID seven Netzah Yehuda battalion – is being investigated by the United States government for violations of the laws of war in order to potentially apply what’s called the Leahy Law to us.”

Like many serving in Israel’s Kfir Brigade, the soldier appeared to be a “Lone Soldier,” or a foreigner who emigrated to Israel alone and volunteered for army service on ideological and/or religious grounds.

And like so many of those drawn to Israeli society from abroad, the soldier espoused blatantly ethno-supremacist views. “Dude, my entire battalion is full of people like me,” he said. “We all hate homosexuals. We all are racist. We call each other n-gger like half the time man. We all, like, refer to each other by name. We’re like, ‘Yo, n-gga give me this. Yo, n-gga, Can you help me?’”  

While the self-described Netzah Yehuda soldier refused to provide his name during the Discord chats, he posted a photo containing his rifle number – 113514604 – and offered clues about other aspects of his personal background. 

The soldier participated in Discord chats under the handle, Spremnost#9005, a moniker likely inspired by the name of the weekly propaganda newsletter of Croatia’s Ustasha movement. The Ustasha were fascist collaborators who presided over the establishment of a Nazi puppet state during World War Two, imposing a racist legal order while placing minorities like Serbs, Roma and Jews in concentration camps. The movement maintains support among contemporary Croatian nationalists – including, apparently, one Croatian-American who signed up to fight in a religious battalion of the Israeli army.

According to NuclearDiffusion, the soldier said he was born in the US to a Jewish mother. Beneath his Discord handle, he posted a phrase in Croatian which translated to, “We are always ready.”

“Screw this old geezer… fuck with him for a night”

According to the established account of the killing of Omar Asad, soldiers from Israel’s Netzah Yehuda Battalion forced the 78-year-old American citizen from his car at a checkpoint in Jiljiliya, a town eight kilometers northeast of Ramallah, early on a cold, damp morning on January 12, 2022. They took Asad to a construction site 100 meters from the checkpoint, then left him there bound, gagged, blindfolded, and exposed to the freezing cold. An hour later, he was found lifeless on the ground, and was taken to a local doctor, who pronounced him dead from a heart attack.

Testimony from the unnamed self-proclaimed Netzah Yehuda soldier corroborates this version of events, but suggests his unit left the elderly man in the cold longer than one hour – and did so as “a joke.” 

“This 80 year old Palestinian man came out and was sort of accosting IDF soldiers,” the soldier said, slightly misstating Asad’s age. “And so as a joke, they like, arrested – they put him in handcuffs and left him out overnight. And then they came back and he was dead. And so it got everybody fired, and it got us in a bunch of trouble.”

Asked why his unit abused the old man, the soldier explained, “Because they were like, ‘Screw this, like, this geezer who’s like trying to interfere with our operation, we’re going to like, fuck with him for a night. And then they came back. And since he’s 80 years old, he died of the cold overnight, and so the point wasn’t to kill him.”

The soldier insisted the killing was an accident, remarking, “So no, the idea was like, it’ll like fuck with him and make him like, never want to do it again. And then they came back. And, you know, it was kind of a retarded idea. Because obviously, like an eighty year old man is not – it would probably be fine if this guy was like, 30. But he was 80. And so no, it didn’t work out.”

Though the Netzah Yehuda soldier was clearly uncomfortable with the killing of Asad, insisting, “I didn’t say it was his fault,” he justified the death on the grounds of “a thing called collateral damage.” 

“It’s a war,” he proclaimed. “And in a war, you have to remember that like her, it’s better that if 100,000. It’s better than if 100,000 of your enemy die than even a single one of your people gets hurt.”

Asked whether he enjoyed killing his perceived enemies, the Netzah Yehuda soldier declared, “Yeah, like the same way that Americans were like, having fun with killing Japanese [soldiers]. And they would take photos of them like, you know, doing funny things with their bodies. Yeah. I enjoy it because they’re our enemy.”

He added, “I think until the war is over, it’s a total war, and we need to do whatever necessary in order to win. And once they’ve been completely defeated, then we can start looking at like a humanitarian kind of way.”

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