JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman asked the country’s president to pardon an Israeli soldier convicted of shooting and killing an injured Palestinian terrorist as he lay on the ground.
In a letter sent on Sunday to President Reuven Rivlin on behalf of jailed soldier Elor Azaria, Liberman said: “We must put an end to the affair that shook Israeli society, and at this time show leniency and mercy to the soldier,” Ynet reported.
“Israeli society faced a test in this affair that demonstrates, perhaps more than any other incident in recent years, the rifts and divisions among it,” Liberman wrote.
He added: “In this unique case, the public interest must also come into consideration—the need to mend rifts in society, and the effect the incident and the trial had on Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers. We send our sons and daughters to defend state security and the public peace, putting them in complex situations the likes of which don’t exist anywhere in the world, and demand of them—and we will continue doing so—to act courageously, with determination, professionally and morally.”