'Elor Azariya victim of political, media campaign'

Former IDF Spokesperson and general says case of soldier who killed wounded terrorist was taken over by politicians and the media.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Avi Benayahu
Avi Benayahu
Ofer Amram, Bar Association Spokesperson

Former IDF Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. (res.) Avi Benayahu stated that Elor Azariya was the victim of a political and media campaign against him.

Benayahu participated in a session that dealt with the question of who protects IDF soldiers at the Seventh Law Conference of the Israel Bar Association.

"In the Elor Azariya affair, the army had mistakes, but the politicians took over, and the soldier fell victim to a political and media campaign, and now they are educating him on what to say," Benayahu said.

Azariya was convicted of shooting a wounded terrorist following a stabbing attack in Hevron in 2016 and served eight months in prison.

"The changes in the nature of the battlefield, an urban area rather than a desert, the Judea and Samaria region, fighting in buildings, a population that uses human shields, technological changes, everything is filmed live on an iPhone. It's a challenge. The military advocate has to understand this. The senior commanders have to understand that they can not turn off electricity so that we can enter in darkness as they did in the past. This changes have occurred both here and in other armies. The technology changes things dramatically," Benayahu added/

MK Shuli Moalem Refaeli (Jewish Home) said in a panel discussion: "The IDF is a moral army, period. The IDF is an investigating army. We live in a reality in which IDF soldiers make mistakes but we must not allow that to lead to immediate legal investigation."

"There is no purpose in providing a protective umbrella for soldiers who do things on purpose. The borders are that soldiers are mistaken in operational activity. That soldier [who made a mistake in the field] should not immediately go straight to the criminal stage. I want to say explicitly - there is no protective umbrella for things that are done with malice, abuse or things like that," she explained.