Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni / Ministry of Defense
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (C) seen during a visit to the North Front Command.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told reporters Sunday that he “regrets” a decision by President Reuven Rivlin to reject former IDF soldier Elor Azariya’s appeal for a pardon.

Azariya was sentenced to 18 months in prison following a conviction on a manslaughter charge after he shot and killed an injured terrorist in Hebron who was shot and neutralized after stabbing another soldier in March 2016.

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Azariya’s 18-month sentence was reduced to 14 months by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot.

Liberman expressed support for Azariya’s bid for a pardon earlier this month, praising his service in the military. “I regret his decision to reject the request,” the defense minister said. “President Rivlin had an opportunity to put an end to this affair, which has shaken Israeli society.”

The president declined to issue the pardon, saying such a move would “harm the resilience” of the IDF and the state.

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