'Commanders are evading responsibility'

'There's a block in the chain of command,' said Major-General Dan Bitton in defense of Elor Azariya.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Soldier Elor Azariya in court
Soldier Elor Azariya in court
Flash 90

Reserve General Danny Biton was one of the two witnesses who testified today in defense of the soldier Elor Azariya, on trial for shooting a wounded terrorist who was lying on the ground in Hevron this March.

The testimony began with a submitted statement to the bench, verifying Bitton’s character. Immediately after that, Biton responded to questions.

The prosecutor asked Biton if he is aware of the fact that parts of his testimony and that of Brigadier General Shmuel Zakai are similar. Biton verified that it’s logical that their respective testimonies would be similar.

When asked about Azariya’s right to fire, Biton stated that if Azariya thought he was in danger, that would have justified the gun fire.

“There are two situations which merit gun fire. A dangerous situation or a potentially dangerous situation," Biton stated. “In this case, there was no question regarding the terrorist’s intentions. The minute the terrorist stabbed an IDF soldier his intentions were clear. The capability of the terrorist [to shoot or not] can be questioned, and it could go either way.”

Biton continued and claimed, in contrast to what the prosecutor presented, that the military court is not able to determine whether Azariya really felt danger the moment he fired.

During the testimony Biton stated that the fact that a full military operational investigation was not executed before the incident was investigated by military police reveals a block in the chain of command, adding that the “commanders are evading responsibility.”