Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin mentioned in his response to Azaria’s clemency request the IDF chief’s decision to reduce his sentence, adding that another reduction would harm the strength of the IDF and Israel.

Elor Azaria

Elor Azaria Photo credit: Avshalom Sasoni, POOL/Channel 2 News

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday rejected the clemency request of Elor Azaria, who was convicted of killing an incapacitated Palestinian terrorist in Hebron as an IDF soldier.

Rivlin’s office stated that the military court system had already been lenient on Azaria after taking into account the unique circumstances surrounding the incident. Furthermore, IDF Chief Gadi Eizenkot chose in September to reduce Azaria’s sentence by four months. Another sentence reduction, Rivlin believes, would “harm the strength of the IDF and the State of Israel.”

“The purity of arms is a substantial element of the IDF’s strength,” the statement said.

Azaria was sentenced in February to 18 months in prison, which were reduced by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot to 14 months.