Police deny Elor Azaria’s request for gun license

Hebron shooter deemed ‘danger to the public’ according to report

Elor Azaria, July 29 2017. (photo credit: MAARIV)
Elor Azaria, July 29 2017.
(photo credit: MAARIV)
Police denied a request for a gun license from “Hebron shooter” Elor Azaria, the Public Security Ministry confirmed on Tuesday.
“The Public Security Ministry grants firearms licenses in accordance with the provisions of the Firearms Law and subject to compliance with the minimum requirements, proof of compliance with a valid test and according to recommendations of the Israel Police and the Ministry of Health,” the Public Security Ministry spokesman said in a statement sent to The Jerusalem Post.
“Elor Azaria’s request for a license... was examined, but due to the objection of the Israel Police, it was decided to reject his application,” the statement added.
Azaria, a former soldier, entered jail on August 9, after being convicted of manslaughter for shooting an incapacitated Palestinian terrorist, Abdel Fatah al-Sharif, on March 24, 2016. He was released from prison on May 8, after serving nine months of a 14-month sentence.
According to Ynet, police said they rejected Azaria’s request because his actions prove he poses a danger to the public.
Ynet also reported that police found no security threat to Azaria’s safety.
Responding to the report, Azaria took to Facebook to express his anguish over the decision.
“I never thought or believed I would hear the words ‘danger to the public’ said about me,” he wrote. “I joined the army and chose combat service in order to protect the State of Israel and all its citizens and I did it with great pride and risked my life daily, as though it’s a routine thing, and despite the many hardships along the way I was always proud that I was able to guard our country and secure its residents.”
Azaria said that since the Hebron shooting became public, his family has received and still receives “constant threats to our lives from terror organizations and in addition, we received a bullet in the mailbox.” Despite numerous complaints to the Israel Police and the IDF, he said, the authorities have done nothing.
“Two months ago I applied to the Ministry of the Interior for a license to carry weapons as a result of these terrorist threats against me and my family. And I will repeat that this is not out of fear but out of readiness in case they try to hurt my family, any citizen of the country, or me,” he continued.
Azaria wrote that he is still in the IDF reserves and said, “I still do not understand how, as a combat soldier in reserves, I am good enough to hold a weapon and for reserve duty and to defend my country, and as a citizen I suddenly hear the words ‘danger to the public.’”
In June, Likud MK Nava Boker asked Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to grant Azaria a gun license, saying he and his family had received threats from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Azaria became a household name after videos of the incident went viral and brought widespread international condemnation. The videos showed Azaria shooting the incapacitated terrorist while he was lying on the ground. He claimed his shots were in self-defense and that he feared a possible knife attack or concealed explosive vest.
Sarah Levi contributed to this report