After Israeli President Reuven Rivlin rejected Hebron shooter Elor Azaria’s appeal, dozens of politicians drafted and signed a letter to the president, asking him to reconsider the decision. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the request, which described the issue as one causing a rift in Israeli society.

Azaria and Netanyahu

Azaria and Netanyahu Photo Credit: Alex Kolomoisky Flash90/Channel 2 News

Dozens of Israeli politicians have signed a petition requesting that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin reconsider pardoning Hebron shooter Elor Azaria. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also signed the request and several ministers, including Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Welfare Minister Haim Katz and Minister of Interior Arie Deri, followed suit.

The signed letter highlighted the Azaria family’s difficult situation and claimed that the Hebron shooter underwent a “torturous ordeal.” It also described the issue as causing a rift in Israeli society and claimed that a pardon may settle the flames.

Rivlin’s bureau responded to the report with a statement: “The letter has not yet arrived at the Presidential Bureau, and when it does, it will be answered as is customary. The Presidential Bureau wishes to clarify that appeals for clemency are only accepted from the pleader himself or from [his] first-degree relatives. Furthermore, it should be noted that in accordance with the pardon policy that has been in use for many years, a renewed pardon appeal may only be submitted six months following the president’s decision concerning the subject’s previous request, unless there is a significant change of circumstances.”

As previously reported by JOL, Rivlin rejected Azaria’s clemency request last Sunday and stated that the military court system had already been lenient on the latter after taking into account the unique circumstances surrounding the incident. Furthermore, IDF Chief Gadi Eizenkot chose to reduce Azaria’s sentence by four months in September. Another sentence reduction, according to Rivlin, would “harm the strength of the IDF and the State of Israel.”