Netanyahu: 'No Room for Attacks' Against Commander Who Testified Against Hebron Shooter

PM also calls for the assaults against the Kfir batallion company commander to come to a halt; Herzog: 'how surprising it is that the PM has not yet phoned up Maj. Naaman's parents.'

Scene from a video released on March 24, 2016 by B'Tselem showing IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria  aiming his weapon before shooting in the head and killing a wounded Palestinian assailant in Hebron.
AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that "there is no room for such attacks" as those made against the company commander for testifying against the soldier charged with fatally shooting a Palestinian assailant in Hebron as he lay wounded on the ground.

During a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said to cease the attacks against Maj. Tom Naaman, the Kfir battalion company commander. He added that he relies on the Israeli army, the IDF chief and the military justice system to reach a verdict that is "serious and fair" in the case against soldier Elor Azaria who faces court martial on a manslaughter charge for the March shooting.

Far-right cabinet minister, Naftali Bennett, also came to Naaman's defense.

Bennett told his Habayit Hayehudi faction in parliament that "just as it was a moral error to have judged Azaria before the military prosecutors did, so it is an error to attack his company commander fulfilling his duty to testify truthfully before the court."

"Our message is consistent. We don't try and sentence soldiers before their trial and we don't attack officers for testifying in court," Bennett said.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, head of the Zionist Union party, told his faction that he had spoken with the aggrieved commander's mother and reassured her that "for me and for the vast majority of our people, Tom is a son of all of us."

Herzog said that after the conversation "I thought to myself how surprising it is that the prime minister has not yet phoned up Maj. Naaman's parents. If his bureau is having trouble coming up with the number, we would be happy to supply it."

Naaman, who told the military court that there was no operational justification for the shooting by his subordinate, Azaria, has filed a complaint with the police after his cell phone number was posted on WhatsApp groups and social networks.

Police subsequently arrested a settler on suspicion of incitement to violence against Naaman. The suspect, a resident of a settlement in the West Bank, was taken into custody after writing on Facebook that if Naaman had been his commander “he wouldn’t be able to walk on his feet anymore."