Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman urged on Sunday Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to pardon Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who shot dead wounded Palestinian youth in Al-Khalil last year.
“We must put an end to the affair that shook Israeli society, and at this time show leniency and mercy to the soldier,” Ynet News reported Lieberman writing in his pardon recommendation to Rivlin.
On October 2017, Azaria shot the Palestinian youth Abdul-Fattah al-Sharif in the head from at a very close range while he was motionless.
He was later on convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison for 18 months, in a measure that reflects disrespect of the Palestinian blood and encourages Israelis to carry out more bloodshed. His sentence was reduced to 14 months and is expected to be released within the coming days even if not pardoned.
“Mr President, few are the affairs in which the matters of one person mirror the entire Israeli society like the case before us. Israeli society faced a test in this affair that demonstrates, perhaps more than any other incident in recent years, the rifts and divisions among it,” Liebermann added.
Lieberman said in his letter that he does not want to let down the Israeli soldiers who murder Palestinians on a daily basis.
“We send our sons and daughters to defend state security and the public peace, putting them in complex situations the likes of which don’t exist anywhere in the world, and demand of them — and we will continue doing so — to act courageously, with determination, professionally and morally.”
“I believe pardoning Elor Azaria will not detract from these demands, and create the right balance between the immense importance of the rule of law and the public and personal considerations concerning this matter.”