Defense Minister Lieberman calls on Rivlin to pardon Hebron shooter

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who was a vocal opponent to the prosecution of Elor Azaria back in 2016, told Rivlin that the ex-soldier's case is a unique one that should be handled with leniency.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday called on President Reuven Rivlin to grant pardon to ex-IDF soldier Elor Azaria, who was jailed for shooting and killing an incapacitated terrorist in Hebron.

"I was among many who believed the circumstances did not warrant prosecuting the soldier," Lieberman wrote, calling Azaria "a distinguished soldier." "But after he was prosecuted, and after the court handed down its verdict, I stood beside the military justice system and announced publicly, despite harsh criticism I faced, that we are living in a state of law and must accept the verdict."

Lieberman added that pardoning Azaria may help ease the division that was created in the Israeli society following the incident.

"I believe one should consider, in this exceptional case, the public interest, the need to sew shut the wounds in our society and the impact of this incident on citizens of thiss country and IDF soldiers," he wrote.



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