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Israel lawmakers express support for remorseless Hebron shooter Elor Azaria

Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter and handed an 18-month term for the March 2016 killing of Al-Sharif

August 31, 2018 at 11:22 am

Israeli lawmakers expressed support this week for convicted Hebron shooter Elor Azaria, after the former soldier told popular daily Israel Hayom that he felt no remorse for his actions.

Azaria shot and killed a wounded Palestinian in Hebron in 2016, and was subsequently convicted of manslaughter by a military court. Sentenced to 18 months, he eventually served just nine.

In an interview with Israel Hayom published this week, Azaria said: “There is no doubt that if you took me back to those ‎seconds in Hebron, when the event was unfolding, I ‎would act exactly the same all over again, because ‎that is what had to be done.”

Read: Netanyahu calls for Azaria to be pardoned

Responding to Azaria’s comments, Likud MK Anat Berko said the Israeli military had “rushed to judgment and failed to support him ‎and his family when their world collapsed.”

Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev said Azaria “should ‎have been questioned by senior commanders and if ‎they had found he should have been penalised, it ‎should have been done as part of a disciplinary ‎hearing, not as part of a judicial system external ‎to the operational-command framework.”

Kulanu MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, meanwhile, said the entire case was “fundamentally distorted” from day ‎one, adding: “The most serious thing, however, is that this ‎affair reflects on our soldiers and may influence ‎their judgment in complex situations.”

Likud MK Nava Boker said: “Azaria was an ‎outstanding soldier who exercised his judgment at ‎the scene and shot a terrorist who tried to murder ‎his comrades, not an innocent bystander.”

Commenting on Azaria’s assertion that the military threw him “under ‎the bus”, Likud MK Amir Ohana said “Elor’s feelings are justified”.

Read: What Elor Azaria taught us about Israel