Attorney Yoram Sheftel, representing soldier Elor Azariya, explained his decision together with Azaria's family to appeal the verdict.

"The facts are not in dispute, the conviction was a "frame-up" based on lies by the two main witnesses and by the court's ignoring evidence to the contrary of these witnesses' statements," said Sheftel.

Sheftel added that "the Defense Minister [Moshe Ya'alon] who fought bravely in the battlefield, caved in to pressure from the camera of the hostile, leftist Betzelem organization financed by the Arab enemies with 4 million shekels in the last few years.The company commander originally decided not to go to military court but rather to go to a disciplinary procedure."

Sheftel has also described the army's threat to increase Azariya's sentence after appeal as "moral blackmail" and even invited the Military Prosecutor to undergo a polygraph test, saying the he was a "baldfaced liar."

At an earlier press conference Sheftel said that he was going to appeal the entire conviction for manslaughter and not just the sentence. However if the prosecution also decides to appeal the sentence and wins, it may lead to a longer sentence than the 18 months handed down to Azariya by the Military Court.

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