Judges deliver verdict in manslaughter trial of Israeli soldier Elor Azaria
Le soldat israélien Elor Azaria (c), avec ses proches au tribunal militaire de Tel Aviv dans l'attente de son jugement, le 4 janvier 2017
Heidi Levine (POOL/AFP)
Heidi Levine (POOL/AFP)
An Israeli military tribunal on Tuesday found Sgt. Elor Azaria, 20, guilty of manslaughter in a verdict that is expected to draw strong reactions from a divided public and leadership.
Wednesday 4 January 2017
Azaria's Attorney: "He (Azaria) is strong, He believes the verdict will be cancelled"
Avigdor Liberman, Minister of Defense: "It is a harsh verdict ..but all who approve or disapprove, like myself, should respect the verdict"
MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid party) "We are one of the most moral armies..When mistakes happen we deal with them..this is what happens in democracies..No one should use this, including politicians, as a platform for themselves"
"This is the time to support the Azaria family," says MK Oren Hazan (Likud), who was the only politician to show up in court. "The trial was a big show.. we will find a way to free him (Azaria)."
Azaria's attorney: We will study the verdict but we will definitely appeal
Shelly Yachimovitch (Zionist Union): A pardon should be considered
The Jewish Home party: Israeli public expects defense minister Liberman to stick to his promises and lead to immediate pardon
Azaria found guilty of manslaughter by court
Judges say they adhered to facts and nothing else and that comments of army leadership which were critical of Azaria did not affect their judgement
Yesh Atid party Chair Yair Lapid says "violence will not govern us" in response to protesters' aggression
Lawmaker Major General (res.) Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Union) says: "The soldier's conduct seriously hurts IDF's values and for that he will be tried and punished."
Amir Peretz, lawmaker and former defense minister, says " It is not a day for celebrations. The court's independence is an inherent part of our army's moral strength."
Lawmaker Ahmed Tibi says "Azaria should have been sentenced alongside dozens of other soldiers and commanders who killed Palestinians for no reason."
The judges say there is no proof that the military advocate general was influenced by the comments of defense minister Yaalon in deciding on trial
Lawmaker Bar-Lev (Zionist Union) says in response to protesters - "protesters are criminals"
Likud Minister Miri Regev says in response to court statements "this is a miserable message - Elor is indeed everybody's soldier" she further added that if found guilty by court she will fight for a pardon.
Judges say they believe Azaria shot because he believed 'the terrorist deserves to die', and not because he thought he was in danger
Judges say they are unconvinced by testimony of Eliyahu Libman, head of Hebron civilian security, a witness on the scene who testified he supported Azaria's decision to shoot
Judges criticize retired Maj. Gen Uzi Dayan's comment during testimony that in principle "terrorists need to be killed". His words contradict IDF procedures
Two protesters already arrested
Police clashes with protesters shouting "release Elor"
Police reports: Protesters outside court broke out to the road. Kaplan street is blocked. Police are trying to clear the road
Judges say that there was no fear for Azaria's life
Judges note shouts warning of an explosive came two minutes before the shooting, not immediately before as Azaria claimed.
Judges note Azaria could not explain this discrepancy
Judge says video shows Azaria did not appear to be concerned about immediate danger
Judges say they were not convinced by the defense's explanations relating to Azaria's constantly changing version of events
The judges say that the testimony of Azaria's commanders, who criticized his conduct was trustworthy
Judges add that these same witnesses did not hear azaria mention any fear of an explosive or a knife. That came later on
Instead the judges accepted the conclusions of Dr. Hadas Gipps who performed the autopsy and concluded that the assailant was killed by Azaria's bullet. Professor Hiss, the defense's expert witness, was not present at the autopsy
On this point the judges were not convinced by the testimony of professor yehuda hiss, a famous Israeli forensics expert, who testified as an expert witness that his conclusion was that the assailant was already dead at the time of the shooting
Judges rule out the option that the assailant was already dead when shot by azaria