MK Nurit Koren
MK Nurit Koren Hezki Baruch

MK Nurit Koren (Likud) on Thursday urged the military prosecution to show mercy and release former IDF soldier Elor Azariya from prison.

Azariya appeared on Wednesday before a parole board in a bid to secure an early release.

Azariya was convicted of manslaughter in January 2017 for the shooting death of a wounded Arab terrorist shortly after an attack in Hevron that left one soldier wounded during the Purim holiday in March, 2016.

In February of 2017, an IDF court sentenced Azariya to 18 months in prison. That sentence was reduced, however, after his legal defense team appealed to IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who slashed four months from the prison sentence.

"I think the prosecution should show mercy for him and not continue to leave him in jail for as long as possible," Koren told Arutz Sheva.

"Azariya has already received his punishment. I hope that even though the prosecution does not recommend releasing him, that the board will release him because we are now before Passover, the holiday of freedom, a family holiday and he should be permitted to be with his family,” she added.

Koren also spoke of the crisis in the coalition over the draft law which was resolved this week, saying she believed the crisis was unnecessary.

"The law passed by the previous Knesset only caused damage because the fact is that more haredim were enlisting. The army needs some of the people, but we do not need them all. Not all secular people serve either, and sometimes women are not absorbed into the army either because they are not needed. I believe we will reach a plan that will be good for everyone. In any case, I think that if you do not enlist, you have to do civil service for the benefit of the State of Israel and society,” she said.

Koren expressed hope that the Knesset will survive until the scheduled end of its term. "I know that most of the parties do not want elections, everyone wants to continue their work. What is certain is that the opposition does not want elections. This morning I read in Haaretz that all the senior members of the Zionist Union did everything in their power to prevent elections. They know that 40 percent of their Knesset members will lose their seats.”

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