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U.S. Senator seeks to cut aid to elite IDF units operating in West Bank and Gaza

Senator Patrick Leahy claims Shayetet 13 unit, undercover Duvdevan unit, and the Israel Air Force Shaldag unit involved in human rights violations in occupied territories.

by Barak Ravid, Haaretz Service

August 15, 2011 | 9:45 pm

Senator Leahy takes questions at a press conference devoted to the issue of online infringement.

Senator Leahy takes questions at a press conference devoted to the issue of online infringement.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy is promoting a bill to suspend U.S. assistance to three elite Israel Defense Forces units, alleging they are involved in human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Leahy, a Democrat and senior member of the U.S. Senate, wants assistance withheld from the Israel Navy’s Shayetet 13 unit, the undercover Duvdevan unit and the Israel Air Force’s Shaldag unit.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a long-time friend of Leahy’s, met with him in Washington two weeks ago to try to persuade him to withdraw the initiative.

According to a senior Israeli official in Jerusalem, Leahy began promoting the legislation in recent months after he was approached by voters in his home state of Vermont.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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