After Hebron Shooter Convicted, Prosecutors Seek Sentencing Deal

Prosecutors will try to obtain the defense's agreement not to appeal Sgt. Elor Azaria's manslaughter verdict.

Sgt. Elor Azaria waits with his parents for the verdict inside the military court in Tel Aviv, Israel, Janary 4, 2017.
Heidi Levine/AP

The prosecution in the case of Sgt. Elor Azaria, convicted of manslaughter last week for shooting to death of a subdued Palestinian assailant in Hebron, will attempt to reach a deal with the soldier's lawyers about his sentencing.

As part of the deal, the military prosecutors will try to obtain the defense’s agreement not to appeal their client’s conviction. It is unclear how the defense team will respond to such proposal.

During the case, the prosecution had turned down proposals to negotiate with the prosecution. Azaria’s attorneys, Eyal Besserglick, Ilan Katz and Karmit Scheiber have already said they intend to appeal the conviction.

"The ruling is fundamentally mistaken and distorting the evidence in the case and does not deal with most of it," they said in response. The defense team said it had not been approached by the prosecution so far. "The rumors of an approach [by the prosecution] are surprising considering that the prosecution has twice refused the court’s proposal of mediation," they said.

The attorneys said they would “work tirelessly until Elor Azaria is released and it is ruled that he is innocent and acted in the context of a military operation despite the court’s tendentious criticism of the line of defense."

A spokesman for the Azaria family, former MK Sharon Gal, said attorney Yoram Sheftel had been hired to conduct the appeal.

The sentencing has been set for January 15.