Rivlin to pardon convicted soldier on Independence Day

President Rivlin considers whether to pardon convicted IDF soldier Elor Azariya on Israel’s 70th birthday.

Reut Hadar, 15/12/17 09:24

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/239366

Elor Azariya

Miriam Alster, Flash 90

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will shorten convicted IDF soldier Elor Azariya’s sentence as part of a pardoning on Israel’s Independence Day, Maariv reported.

Azariya is currently serving an 18-month sentence, and will be released in May 2018. Rivlin’s decision will shorten Azariya’s sentence by a few weeks.

Last month, Rivlin refused to pardon Azariya. In his letter then, Rivlin wrote that “since in September 2017 IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot decided to reduce your sentence….by four months, out of kindness and mercy, and out of consideration of the fact that you were a soldier in the field, the President feels that…additionally lightening the punishment will harm the strength of the IDF and the State of Israel.”

“The IDF’s values, among them the purity of arms, are the foundation of the IDF’s strength and have always served us in our righteous battle for our right to a national and safe homeland, and in building a strong society.

“The President’s decision takes into consideration that you are scheduled to appear before a committee which will discuss whether to reduce your sentence or release you in another three months.”

Azariya was convicted in January for the March 2016 shooting of Arab terrorist who stabbed an IDF soldier in Hevron and was suspected of wearing an explosive vest. He was sentenced in February to 18 months in prison.

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