Education Minister Naftali Bennett renewed his call for a pardon for Sgt. Elor Azaria, the soldier on trial before a military tribunal for shooting an already subdued terrorist in Hebron earlier this year. Bennett said the pardon should come even before judgment in the case.
He called on Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and President Reuven Rivlin to begin the process so that a pardon will be granted and Azaria will not have to spend “one day in jail.”
“We are in a war against Palestinian terrorists who are coming to kill us,” Bennett said. “IDF soldiers and officers in the field need to know that we will not determine their fate before a trial.”
Referring to comments made by then defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and top IDF officers, he said that was done in this case. “Therefore, he needs a pardon if found guilty,” Bennett said.
Both Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, from Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi Party, and the Likud’s Tzachi Hanegbi told reporters that the question of a pardon for Azaria should wait until a verdict is given in the case.