Hebron shooter Azaria released from detention for Passover

Azaria is expected to return to his on-base detention on Sunday at 10 a.m.

April 22, 2016 10:26
1 minute read.
Sgt. Elor Azaria, the soldier who was indicted for manslaughter after shooting a subdued Palestinian

Sgt. Elor Azaria, the soldier who was indicted for manslaughter after shooting a subdued Palestinian attacker last month, was released temporarily for Passover.. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Sgt. Elor Azaria – the soldier who shot a Palestinian terrorist in Hebron last month after he was already wounded and lying motionless on the ground - was granted temporary release from his on-base detention to visit his family for the Passover.

Azaria is expected to return to his on-base detention on Sunday at 10 a.m.

On Monday, the IDF prosecuter filed a manslaughter indictment with the Jaffa Military Court against Azaria. Azaria also was charged with conduct unbecoming of a noncommissioned officer. Once the indictment was issued, the gag order on his name was lifted.

Azaria, a Ramle resident who has been in the IDF for about a year-and-a-half, was ordered to remain in open detention on the IDF’s Nahshonim Base, near Rosh Ha’ayin, until the end of trial.

In the hearing on Monday, the prosecution pushed hard to keep Azaria in open detention on the army base until the end of the trial due to “the security situation, and to calm the security situation,” whereas the defense said Azaria has been mistreated by being put in detention for essentially doing his job and must be released. The prosecution lost an appeal to keep Azaria in full detention.

Judge Lt.-Col. Ronen Shor asked the defense how it could explain that Azaria genuinely thought he was in danger when none of his commanders did.

The defense responded that he was not as well-trained in all complex situations as they were and that this was a highly complicated situation.

The defense also requested that Azaria be given a brief vacation to spend the Passover Seder with his family in the event that the court continued his open detention, a request the court granted despite ruling against him on the general detention issue.

“The decision of the judge says to the prosecution: Stop here. Recheck ‘your evidence,’ and the phrase ‘your evidence,’ if I translate that into simple language, it is weak evidence that does not justify a conviction on the charge of manslaughter,” said defense lawyer Ilan Katz in response to the indictment. 

“The judge essentially ruled that the story of the soldier, the first version, is not made-up,” but that his concern about an explosive vest was authentic..

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