- Title: Two arrested in Israel for threatening judges who convicted soldier
- Date: 5th January 2017
- Summary: JERUSALEM (JANUARY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) SUSPECT'S LAWYER, GAVRIEL TRONISHVILI, TALKING TO REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) SUSPECT'S LAWYER, GAVRIEL TRONISHVILI, SAYING: "It's a person who published a post, made a mistake, came to his senses, removed the post on his own initiative. He poses no danger. He understands that he made a mistake, and he immediately admitted it. That's it, that's the story." SUSPECT WALKING IN COURT CORRIDOR ISRAELI FLAG OUTSIDE COURT BUILDING ISRAELI POLICE SPOKESPERSON MICKY ROSENFELD TALKING TO REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI POLICE SPOKESPERSON MICKY ROSENFELD SAYING: "Israeli police units are looking out for individuals who are putting out information threatening individuals in connection with the case. And this will continue as long as necessary." EXTERIOR OF COURT BUILDING
- Embargoed: 20th January 2017 13:49
- Keywords: Israel Palestinians soldier court Elor Azaria
- Location: JERUSALEM/INTERNET
- City: JERUSALEM/INTERNET
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0035XT09C7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Israeli police said on Thursday (January 5) they arrested two people for posting comments on social media threatening military judges who ruled that a soldier who fatally shot a wounded and immobile Palestinian attacker was guilty of manslaughter.
One of the suspects appeared before a Jerusalem court, after a post he published on Facebook referred to the chief military judge on the panel, saying: "Col. Maya Heller will not finish her year," according to the YNet news website.
Several pages in support of Sergeant Elor Azaria, who was convicted on Wednesday (January 4), have appeared on Facebook. Many of the posts urge Israel's president to pardon the 20-year-old, a call Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also made on his own Facebook page.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police had arrested a man in Jerusalem and a woman in the southern town of Kiryat Gat whose social media comments constituted "incitement to violence" against the three-judge panel.
Ten months ago, Azaria was an army medic serving in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank when two Palestinians stabbed a fellow soldier.
One of the assailants was shot dead by troops and the other was wounded. Eleven minutes later, as the wounded man, Abd Elfatah Ashareef, 21, lay on the ground incapacitated, Azaria shot him in the head with an assault rifle.
Ruling in one of the most polarising cases in Israel's history, a three-judge military panel convicted Azaria of manslaughter, saying he acted out of a sense of vengeance and had said after pulling the trigger, "He deserved to die."
With the 50th anniversary of Israel's wartime capture of the West Bank approaching, the trial generated debate about whether the military, long seen as a melting pot for Israelis from a multitude of backgrounds, was out of touch with a public that has shifted to the right in its attitudes towards the Palestinians and ways of dealing with continuing violence.
A poll published on Wednesday by Israel's Channel 2 television showed that 67 percent of respondents favouring a pardon for Azaria.
A military security detail was assigned to the judges on Wednesday, and several hundred far-right supporters of Azaria clashed with police outside the Tel Aviv military base as the verdict was being read out.
The suspect was brought to court later in the day for an extension of his detention.
The suspect's lawyer, Gavriel Tronishvily, said his client realised he has "made a mistake" and removed the post.
Rosenfeld said Israeli police will continue to monitor threats on individuals related to the case "as long as necessary".
A screenshot of the second suspect arrested appeared on YNet and it said someone should "take a grenade and blow up the judge". She was questioned and released home with restrictions on her Internet use.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None