Today, as the case for soldier Elor Azariya continued at the military court in Yafo, Azariya’s Deputy Company Commander continued his testimony, which began last Thursday, on behalf of Azariya’s defense.
The Deputy Company Commander negated the assertion that Azariya had extremist tendencies; on the contrary, he trusted Azariya in high-pressure situations. “Generally, after a prisoner is caught, the commander appoints a soldier to stand watch and make sure that the prisoner is receiving his basic rights. In those types of situations, I would appoint Elor – with my eyes closed – even in situations of high volatility,” the commander said.
The commander also noted the extreme burdens that had been placed on Azariya, in that he was serving both as company medic and as radio contact at the time; the commander asserted that it was not right to place such a burden on him.
The commander also said that, speaking with Azariya after the incident to ascertain why he had shot the terrorist, Azariya had replied that he feared that the terrorist was carrying explosives. “I asked him why he suspected the presence of explosives, since it is not every day that you suspect such a case. He replied that there were shouts about the presence of explosives, and that the terrorist was wearing a puffed-up jacket,” the commander said.