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Israeli soldier charged with manslaughter released

Israeli soldier Elor Azarya (C), the Israeli soldier charged with manslaughter after shooting a prone and wounded Palestinian assailant in the head [File photo]
Israeli soldier Elor Azarya (C), the Israeli soldier charged with manslaughter after shooting a prone and wounded Palestinian assailant in the head [File photo]

The Israeli soldier who was charged with the manslaughter of an injured Palestinian at point blank range has been sent home to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover with his family.

Elor Azaria was being held in open detention on the Nahshonim Military Base after being held on manslaughter charges after video footage was released of him shooting Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif in Hebron. Al-Sharif was lying injured on the ground when he was killed.

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported today that it obtained the witness list from the military prosecution, and it included the indictment against the soldier. Sixty witnesses are being called including a brigade commander, a battalion commander, brigade leaders, their deputies, and other officers, as well as paramedics and civilians.

The newspaper also reported that the soldier’s defence attorney intends to subpoena a longer list of witnesses, which include army officers and military team leaders. In order to generate a “media buzz”, the defence lawyers are planning to subpoena Israeli Chief of General Staff, Gadi Eizenkot, but the newspaper noted that he would not come to court.

It added that the military prosecution fears a “media circus” surrounding the soldier’s trial, especially since a large part of the Israeli masses sympathise with him and do not believe there is a problem with executing a wounded and incapacitated Palestinian.

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