Netanyahu signs petition to free soldier who shot wounded terrorist

Netanyahu has asked the Israeli president to pardon Elor Azaria, the IDF soldier who killed a neutralized terrorist in Hebron.

By: World Israel News Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has joined calls to free Elor Azaria, the IDF soldier who was imprisoned for shooting a neutralized terrorist in Hebron in March 2016.

A combat medic stationed in Hebron, Azaria fired a fatal shot at a neutralized terrorist as he lay wounded on the ground after committing a stabbing attack against the soldier’s colleagues.

Azaria was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter. An Israeli military court in Tel Aviv rejected his appeal, in which the defense maintained he felt his life was in danger, saying he thought the terrorist could have been carrying a bomb on his body.

“If I knew then what I know now, I never would have shot him,” Azaria told the chief of staff in his request for clemency.

Last week, President Reuven Rivlin rejected an appeal to pardon the soldier.

According to the petition, signed by 55 lawmakers, including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, “the Azaria affair is tearing Israeli society apart, creating polarization and division, and your decision can put an end to all this and calm the discourse. It is impossible to ignore the feelings of the general public, that Elazar Azaria is a scapegoat who has become a symbol and paid an especially high price,” Hadashot News reported.

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