The cross- examination of Corporal Elor Azariya, on trial for shooting a wounded terrorist in Hevron, is currently underway at the military court in Jaffa, where Azariya is being subjected to the questioning of military prosecutor Nadav Weissman.
The prosecution is not making things easy for Azariya, throwing him tough questions.
In response to the question of whether company commander Tom Naaman gave false testimony, Azariya stated affirmatively: "plain and simple." Asked if the former [higher-ranking] battalion commander David Shapira had lied, Azariya answered that he had "on some things."
"In large part, [Shapira's] words do not reflect the truth. He forgot to say things," said Azariya.
Azariya was asked why he only related last week for the first time that the company commander had slapped him after he had shot the terrorist. He replied that "during the investigations I was not in a good mental state. Even now, I'm not well."
"There were some things I didn't remember from the investigation. I was in shock from the incident and from the arrest under which they had put me. Also, each time there was something that made me want to finish the questioning quickly," Azariya added.
The cross-examination was supposed to have begun yesterday afternoon, but Azariya did not feel well, and thus it was delayed until this morning.
In his testimony yesterday, Azariya strongly criticized the behavior of his commanders. "They didn't speak to us once about what to do in the case of explosives or in an attack involving more than one type of weapon...I heard the Brigadier General say that if their was a knife attack, then presumably there wouldn't be a explosives attack.
"Last week in Jerusalem, we saw a terrorist with knives and explosives. I acted in accordance with the instructions for behavior upon opening fire. They just gave the test for behavior upon opening fire so that they could check it off the list. They just told us the answers. That they don't prepare you for the case of explosives is a mistake that could cost lives."
Azariya had harsh words to say about IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott and former Defense Minister "They put me on trial to satisfy the world and the press. All of a sudden I hear the Chief of Staff and Defense Minister condemning me without even waiting to hear from me, coming out with declarations of condemnation. They threw me to the dogs out of fear of the press."