Liberman slams Netanyahu for 'field trial' of IDF soldier who killed wounded terrorist

"The prime minister and the minister of defense are looking for support among the bleeding heart liberals and the representatives of B'Tselem," Liberman says.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 27, 2016 09:06
2 minute read.

IDF soldier shoots dead subdued Palestinian terrorist in Hebron, part of Elor Azaria case

IDF soldier shoots dead subdued Palestinian terrorist in Hebron, part of Elor Azaria case

 
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The Defense Ministry denied Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman's request to visit the imprisoned IDF soldier who was caught on camera on Thursday shooting dead an apparently neutralized Palestinian terrorist. 

Liberman made the visitation request along with fellow Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer. 

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Liberman said he wanted to visit the soldier, listen to him, tell him that the attacks against him are not appropriate and remind him that he has support among the elected officials. 

"It cannot be that the terror-supporting Arab MKs can visit terrorists and we are not allowed to visit the jailed soldier. There is no doubt that the denial of our request is political," the former foreign minister protested. 

"The soldier was given a field trial," Liberman said, while highlighting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon had already pronounced that the soldier's actions contravened IDF values even before the completion of the investigation into the incident. 

Liberman said that Netanyahu and Ya'alon should not have reacted to the incident in this manner and added that their words "harmed the soldier's chances of being investigated fairly and not being subject to a lynching by the media." 

"The prime minister and the minister of defense are looking for support among the bleeding heart liberals and the representatives of B'Tselem," Liberman said.    

Without Naming Netanyahu or Ya'alon specifically, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett attacked the political echelon for conducting a 'field trial' against the soldier.

Immediately following the release of the video on Thursday, politicians rushed to "dance to B'Tselem's fiddle," Bennett told Israel Radio on Sunday morning, referring to the human rights group that released the video of the killing.

Bennett said that even if the soldier made a mistake of judgment he was not a murderer. He said that the possibility of the soldier being tried for murder demonstrated the total loss of proportions in the matter and he would act to ensure that the soldier would receive a just trial.

On Thursday, Netanyahu released a statement in which he said that "the IDF expects its soldiers to behave with composure and in accordance with the rules of engagement."

"This incident does not represent the values of the IDF,” he added.

Ya’alon on Thursday said the incident will be dealt with with the utmost severity. “We must not allow, even at a time that our blood boils, this loss of control," Ya'alon said.

On Saturday evening, Netanyahu wrote a statement in defense of the IDF on his Facebook page.

“The IDF is a moral army that does not execute people. IDF soldiers have absorbed with their bodies the murderous terror attacks against Israeli citizens and deserve support,” Netanyahu said.

With regard to Thursday’s incident, he said, “I trust the IDF will conduct a thorough, responsible and fair investigation, as it does always.”

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