IDF Chief of General Staff promises to consider easier sentence for Azaria

Hours after the military court’s decision to reject Elor Azaria’s appeal, IDF Chief of General Staff Gadi Eizenkot claimed that a request for an easier sentence would be seriously considered.

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Today, IDF Chief of General Staff Gadi Eizenkot commented on the military court’s decision to reject Elor Azaria’s appeal and claimed that a request for an easier sentence would be considered seriously.

“The request will be considered while examining all of the relevant factors,” he wrote. “And out of my sole commitment to the ethics of the IDF and its soldiers.” 

Azaria and Eizenkot Photo credit: Avshalom Sasoni/POOL, Isaac Harari/Flash90/ Channel 2 News

“IDF forces, including the soldiers of the Kfir Brigade, face a unique challenge every day,” Eizenkot added. “The IDF commanders and I are full of admiration and pride for their achievements and the manner in which the operations are carried out in the face of an enemy.”

Azaria with his father Photo credit: Channel 2 News

“Sergeant (reserve) Elor Azaria is an IDF combat soldier who served at the forefront like many of our soldiers,” Lieutenant General Eizenkot continued. “He took part in the joint challenge of providing security to the citizens of Israel.”

The court’s decision means that Azaria’s manslaughter conviction remains and he will need to serve the 18-month sentence that he received a few months ago. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin commented on the decision.

In March 2016, Azaria shot a neutralized terrorist who had just carried out a stabbing attack in Hebron. The incident was caught on camera and went viral, making headlines worldwide and sparking public debate in Israel and abroad. Azaria was convicted of manslaughter in early 2017 and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

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