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Why IDF chief commuted Hebron shooter's sentence

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot commuted the sentence of Hebron shooter Elor Azaria, not as a sign of pardon but for Israeli society to heal.
Former Israeli soldier Elor Azaria (C), who was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for killing a wounded and incapacitated Palestinian assailant, waits to hear the ruling at an Israeli military appeals court in Tel Aviv, Israel July 30, 2017. REUTERS/Dan Balilty/Pool - RC1DF695EF80
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The Sept. 27 decision by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Gadi Eizenkot to reduce the sentence of the Hebron shooter Elor Azaria by four months was an anticlimactic ending to one of the most turbulent affairs in the 50-year history of Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

It was more than just the harsh news surrounding the terrorist attack in Har Adar on Sept. 26 and the political uproar surrounding a Sept. 27 public event that marked 50 years of settlement in the West Bank that pushed the latest news about Eizenkot's decision from the headlines. More important was the balanced decision, which was made after many long, in-depth discussions, both within the military and with external legal advisers. This put an end to the Azaria saga.

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