The defense continued to call its witnesses at a military court in Jaffa Sunday, in the case of IDF medic Sgt. Elor Azaria, who is facing manslaughter charges for killing a terrorist who had already been neutralized, Walla reported. The day began with the soldier who was the victim of the stabbing attack by the two terrorists at a check post in Hebron. Later in the day the court will hear from MDA Director Eli Bin.
The soldier testified that the two Arab terrorists raised the suspicion of the check post soldiers because they both were wearing heavy coats and did not stop at the metal detector. After being attacked and injured, the witness said he shot the terrorist and thought he was dead, but then he heard people crying that the terrorist was carrying an explosive charge.
The witness described the main dangers IDF soldiers face at the check posts as being stabbings and explosives. He said the two Arabs “came close to my post and I identify that something is out of the ordinary — they didn’t stop at the line, and tried to avoid the metal detector. As soon as the company commander ordered them to stop and go back, they stood and stared at each other. I put my hand on my weapon, one of them pulled out a knife and ran at the company commander to try to stab him. The company commander followed the blocking protocol and shot the terrorist. Meanwhile, as I was asking where was the second terrorist, I felt two stabs in my shoulder and my arm.”
At that point the witness said he shot the terrorist. “I turn around and while I’m falling I shoot three bullets at him and he’s fleeing. I thought he still posed danger, maybe he was going to blow up a charge. I ran after him, following the blocking protocol. He turns back and starts running at me and I hear three shots and the terrorist falls down. Since I didn’t know if he had explosives on him I didn’t want to take a chance, I tried to shoot him and didn’t succeed. Then I thought he was dead and went to report the incident over the com. When I was inside the ambulance I heard the cries about the explosive charge and became very tense as a result.”
The witness described a chaotic scene in which “no one took charge, no one gave orders.” He told the court that the defendant, Sgt. Azaria “was standing next to me, I think he turned towards the terrorist and looked in his direction. There was a lot of pressure in the scene.”
The witness also told the court that the IDF reneged on a decision to award him a certificate of appreciation for his performance while being wounded. He reported asking the deputy brigade commander why he wasn’t receiving the award and the latter did not offer a clear explanation, other than to say “the IDF is a bit chincy on these matters.”
As to his own relationship with the defendant, the witness said they “enlisted together, went through training together, did everything together. He is a very generous man and always likes to give, no matter when and how. He’s a soldier that no matter what’s the mission, he always does it without showing it when it’s tough. A man of values and tolerance.”David Israel