Elor Azariya released for Passover

Soldier convicted and sentenced for shooting wounded terrorist will celebrate the Passover seder with his family.

Reut Hadar,

Elor Azariya sits with his family as verdict handed down
Elor Azariya sits with his family as verdict handed down

Soldier Elor Azariya, sentenced to 18 months in prison for shooting a wounded terrorist, was released this morning for two days from the open imprisonment in which he is currently being held.

For the Passover holiday, Azariya was released to celebrate the Passover seder with his family members. They waited for him at the exit to the Nachshonim army base and took him to his family home in Ramle in central Israel.

Head of the IDF Manpower directorate Moti Almoz was asked yesterday in an interview with Arutz Sheva whether his statements and those of the Chief of Staff immediately after the incident in question in Hevron were not premature and didn’t pit the soldier by himself in a battle against the entire army system.

“Elor is our soldier, and we have no intention of putting him in a place resembling the interpretation of some people. I am aware of the power of the event. You need to remember that at 12 in the afternoon we received the facts, which didn’t change from then until today,” Almoz said.

“I cannot address some of the issues because there are legal proceedings underway. There is a wall between the commanding stratum and the legal stratum which we don’t cross, but commanders at every operational incident must say what they think about the incident. We said that same day in the afternoon our statements obligatory upon us as commanders to the soldiers and to anyone who asked us.”

He added, “The incident had two parts, the first part was very good from an operational perspective, during which two terrorists who came to murder were neutralized. The second part happened 11 minutes later, and it was not as good and in opposition to IDF operational norms. The third thing is that a soldier is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and as long as the investigation is ongoing, we can’t get involved.”

According to Almoz, the last two years have put difficult operational tests before the IDF in Judea and Samaria. “We have seen the tests of IDF soldiers in preventing attacks with only seconds to make a decision and, even so, we must verify that the weapon granted them is used for operational goals, for removing threats, and that they know how to make correct decisions.”