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Mon. Aug 29, 2016 News from Israel

  • Fearing arrest, son of Ben Eliezer who lives abroad most likely not to attend funeral on Tuesday
  • UN representative to the Middle East slams Israel's policy in the West Bank
  • Defense minister Lieberman criticizes Israeli media saying “A fighter does not need to go to the battlefield with a lawyer”

Former Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer will be buried on Tuesday in the Holon cemetery. Ofir Ben-Eliezer his son who lives abroad, apparently will not come to Israel for the funeral, for fear he will be taken in for questioning for his involvement in the bribery affair his late father was charged with. the police clarified that Ben-Eliezer's son, would not be taken in upon landing and he would able to take part in the funeral. However, police intends to summon him for questioning at the end of seven days of mourning. It is also possible that the police will issue a warrant to delay him leaving the country, due to the possibility that his questioning will lead to his arrest.

UN representative to the Middle East Nikolai Maldanov harshly criticized the Israeli government policies in the west bank at the UN security council meeting.

“A fighter does not need to go to the battlefield with a lawyer,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated on Monday in reference to the trial of Elor Azaria, who is being trialed for shooting a wounded terrorist in Hebron , and the Israeli fighter who shot a Palestinian in Ofra on Friday . “I would like to take this opportunity and to appeal to the Israeli media” he stated. “First of all, the Israeli media needs to remember that Israel is a democratic country who only convicts people in court. It isn’t the media but the courts that decide. “The second thing that people need to remember is that we are fighting against terrorists every day,” Lieberman added. “To reach a situation where every soldier asks for a lawyer before going out on a mission is impossible.”

The Elor Azaria trial resumed on Monday with an IDF Lieutenant first class officer who was present at the scene being called  by the defense to the witness stand. The officer, not Azaria's direct commander, said that he told the soldiers not to get too close to the wounded Palestinian and to wait for the bomb disposal expert to arrive. The officer also mentioned that higher up commanders arrived after the incident and told him that it was not a standard incident and was severe.

An Israeli fighter who shot a Palestinian passing a post near Ofra in the west bank was being investigated in suspicion of causing his death. The incident occurred last Friday, when a 38-year-old Palestinian man was killed. The soldier was not arrested but is nevertheless being investigated over the incident. In the beginning, it was published that the Palestinian fired at the position but it soon became clear that he did not try to harm the soldiers. The Palestinian Authority claims that the man was unarmed and that he suffered from a mental illness.

Even though the Knesset  passed a law a year ago setting stricter punishments for  stone throwers the Supreme Court decided on Monday to actually ease the punishment of seven Palestinian youths her threw stones last year at Israeli vehicles. The Jerusalem District Court sentenced them to one to three years in prison. however, the high court judges reduced their punishment to nine months imprisonment. At the same time, the judges increased the fines imposed on the youths.

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