Elor Azariya in court with his parents
Elor Azariya in court with his parents Flash 90

The trial of IDF soldier El-or Azariya began at the Yafo Military Court Monday, as he faces charges of manslaughterfor shooting a wounded Arab terrorist in Hevron on March 24. 

The defense opened by stating that evidence against Azariya was "piecemeal" at best, and asked to delay their formal response to the indictment against him. 

The prosecutor, Lt. Col. (res) Nadav Weissman - who was called up for reserves for the express purpose of prosecuting the case - asked the court to reject the request and demand that the response to the indictment be given immediately. Evidence against the soldier amounts to two and a half binders' worth, he said. 

The defense rejected the idea that the request was made in order to buy time, saying "our interest is not to gain time but finish this as quickly as possible so that the soldier will not remain in custody."

The military court judge suggested that both sides sit for a criminal mediation; the defense agreed immediately, but the prosecution said it would "consider" the offer. 

After the opening statements, the indictment against Azariya was read.

The defense asked that the soldier be released for Independence Day (Yom Ha'atzmaut) Thursday, but the prosecution objected on the grounds that there is no room for another vacation after the soldier went on vacation during Passover.

The military court granted a two-week extension to Azariya's team to respond to the indictment, but also ruled to keep the soldier on "open house arrest" on his military base. 

Azariya's team fired after the session that senior political officials had clearly influenced the ruling, to reduce public interest in the case.