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Azaria lawyer requests delay in prison sentence

30 Juillet 2017

A poll from January shows 70 percent of the Israeli public is in favor of pardoning Azaria, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has likewise expressed support for such a move.

In one of the most divisive trials in the Israel's history, the panel of judges, including field generals, rejected challenges lodged by Elor Azaria, who says he had acted in line with defense doctrines.

"When the subject is discussed concretely, I will give my recommendation to the competent authorities". The appeals court rejected an application by military prosecutors to increase the sentence to between three and five years.

Azaria arrived at the military court in Tel Aviv on Sunday in a white V-neck shirt, smiling and hugging family members as he has done at previous hearings.

His imprisonment had been postponed pending his appeal.

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He can still appeal to the country's supreme court, though Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on him not to and to request a pardon from the military chief of staff.

Azaria was released from military prison to house arrest, as his period of mandatory army service came to an end and he awaited a decision from the military court of appeals.

In March 2016, Azaria, a combat medic stationed in Hebron, shot a neutralized terrorist in the head as he lay wounded on the ground after committing a stabbing attack against the soldier's colleagues.

The soldier's conviction has deeply divided Israeli public opinion between those who believe he was wrongly tried and those who say the conviction was the right and proper effect of his actions.

However, right-wing leaders, including Netanyahu, have called for him to be pardoned in an extraordinary public rift between politicians and the military.

Azaria lawyer requests delay in prison sentence