(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The 20-year-old Israel Defense Forces soldier who shot a neutralized Palestinian terrorist in Hebron last month has been charged with manslaughter and named as Sgt. Elor Azaria, after a Jaffa military court lifted the gag order on his identity on Monday.
At the hearing, the military prosecution indicted Azaria on counts of manslaughter and inappropriate behavior, and the judge extended his remand until the end of legal proceedings. The judge further ruled that Azaria would be able to visit his family for the Passover holiday over the coming weekend.
According to the indictment, Azaria was “violating the procedure for opening fire and without operational justification, while the terrorist was lying injured on the ground and was not carrying out another attack, nor did he present an immediate, tangible threat to the defendant, to civilians, or to soldiers.”
Military court judge Lt. Col. Ronen Shor wrote in his decision that “there is apparent evidentiary basis showing that the defendant caused the man’s death via a prohibited act, and that the gunfire carried out by the defendant directed at the terrorist was done with no operational necessity, rather with criminal intent.”
At the same time, the judge wrote, “Within the investigation materials themselves, there is evidence that weakens the stance of the prosecution, which maintains that the defendant’s actions and conduct necessarily constitute the crime of manslaughter. There is not insignificant evidence…that the injured terrorist, who was lying on the ground, was carrying an explosive device.”