A majority of Israeli citizens do not agree with the verdict of the military court convicting Sgt. Elor Azariya for the shooting of a wounded terrorist in Hevron and want him to be pardoned, according to a survey by Channel 2.
51% of respondents said that they do not agree with the verdict, compared with only 36% who do agree with the verdict. There was an even greater disparity between those who want Azariya to be pardoned following the verdict and those who do not. 67% of respondents supported granting Azariya a pardon so he can return to his family, compared to only 19% who did not support a pardon for Azariya.
The survey was conducted by Mano Geva and Dr. Mina Tzemach from the Midgam Research Institute in conjunction with iPanel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had earlier written that he, too, supported a pardon for Azariya.
"This is a difficult and painful day for all of us - first and foremost for Elor and his family, for the soldiers of the IDF, for the citizens, and for the parents of soldiers, including myself." Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page.
''I call on all Israeli citizens to act responsibly toward the IDF, its commanders and staff. We have one army which our existence is dependent upon. The soldiers of the IDF are our sons and daughters, and they must remain above any dispute," the Prime Minister wrote, adding: "I support granting a pardon to Elor Azariya."