Mediation Attempts in Hebron Shooting Not Successful So Far
Despite the defense encouraging it, the military prosecutors in the Mount Hebron shooting case are refusing to enter into mediation. The defense team for Elor Azaria requested mediation as the two sides began to present their closing arguments in the case’s appeal. Both sides sought appeal for Azaria’s 18 month jail sentence after his conviction of manslaughter for shooting a wounded Palestinian assailant.
During the hearing in Tel Aviv, the judge encouraged both sides to “rise above” the situation. The defense took this to mean mediation could provide a path to resolution and suggested a two week mediation process. The military prosecutor refused and stated he thought a “ruling was necessary. ” He further stated that he wanted the judges to determine “the norms and proper punishment,” and pointed out that they had not heard any regret from Azaria for his actions.
The prosecution does not believe that the 18 month sentence is enough to make the public happy, and that they believe a verdict is necessary so everyone will be aware of the details of the case. Mediation would likely be a private process and would not occur in the public eye.
In response to the refusal, the judge told the prosecuting attorney to take the mediation suggestion to his commanding officer who would have one week to decide if the mediation refusal was absolute.
Azaria’s service time ends July 20, so if a verdict is not reached by that time, he will no longer be allowed to remain on the military base in confinement. At that point, the judges would need to determine if Azaria would be under house arrest and if so, what the conditions of his detainment would be.