Yoram Sheftel
Yoram SheftelFlash90

A defense attorney for former IDF Sgt. Elor Azariya lambasted army Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot on Monday with a string of ad hominem attacks, following an army court of appeals decision Sunday to uphold Azariya’s conviction and sentence.

Azariya was convicted of manslaughter by an IDF court in January, following the March 2016 shooting death of a wounded Arab terrorist. A month later, the court sentenced him to 18 months in prison, but delayed implementation of his sentence pending appeals by both the defense and prosecution

On Sunday, the army appeals court rejected Azariya’s appeal of his conviction and sentence.

As the defense team weighed an appeal to the Supreme Court, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman urged Azariya not to pursue the matter, but instead to request leniency from Chief of Staff Eizenkot.

Defense attorney Yoram Sheftel took aim at Eizenkot on Monday, decrying the army’s handling of the Azariya case. During an interview with Channel 10, Sheftel also launched a series of personal attacks on the IDF Chief of Staff.

“He looks like a municipal clerk,” said Sheftel. “Anyone as overweight as the Chief of Staff does not project the image of a soldier.”

During the interview, Sheftel also refused to retract his earlier criticism of the army chief prosecutor, whom he described as a “wild, blood-thirsty beast”.