Netanyahu Softens Stance on Soldier Accused of Murder

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu modified his comments regarding the case of the soldier who shot and killed a neutralized in terrorist in Chevron on Thursday.

Netanyahu was among the senior officials who condemned the soldier only hours after the incident, but on Monday he addressed sympathetically the appeal of the accused’s father that he not be tried in the media.

“Like you I heard the words of the father of the soldier,” said Netanyahu. “I have to say that as a father of a soldier, the words touched my heart.

“IDF soldiers, our children, stand before murderous terror attacks by terrorists who come to kill them. They have to make decisions in real time, in field conditions, in stress conditions, in uncertain conditions.”

Netanyahu emphasized that “I rely 100% on the IDF, on the Chief of Staff, on the investigation. I trust that the investigation will consider all the conditions that I described, including operational conditions. I am certain that the investigation will be professional and fair towards the soldier.”

Meanwhile, the protest over the prosecution of the soldier will take to the streets on Tuesday, as Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman called on public to rally for the soldier at the Jaffa military courthouse on Tuesday.

“We think that the young man, a 19-year-old soldier, was lynched. Before the military police began its investigation they have already accused him in the media,” Arutz Sheva quoted Lieberman as saying during a party meeting.

“I will go to the military courthouse in Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood tomorrow. I call on everyone to come to the military courthouse and to express support for the soldier. I’d rather have a live soldier who made a mistake in judgment than a soldier who hesitated and paid for it with his life.”

At the United Nations, the Palestinians asked for an investigation into the incident.