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Netanyahu says soldier convicted of manslaughter should be pardoned
January 4, 2017 / 6:31 PM / a year ago

Netanyahu says soldier convicted of manslaughter should be pardoned

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he supported pardoning a young Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter for shooting dead a Palestinian assailant lying wounded and motionless on the ground in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who is charged with manslaughter by the Israeli military, sits to hear his verdict in a military court in Tel Aviv, Israel, January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Heidi Levine/Pool

The decision to court-martial Sergeant Elor Azaria, who shot the Palestinian after the assailant stabbed another Israeli soldier last March has stirred public controversy in Israel from the start, with right-wing politicians calling after the verdict on President Reuven Rivlin to pardon the 20-year-old defendant.

“This is a difficult and painful day - first and foremost for Elor, his family, Israel’s soldiers, many citizens and parents of soldiers, among them me ... I support granting a pardon to Elor Azaria,” Netanyahu said on his Facebook page.

Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Alison Williams

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