IDF soldier at the scene of the March shooting death of an immobilized Palestinian terrorist in Hebron testifies on Monday morning.
I would have stopped him if i knew he would fire,” T.M., an IDF co-soldier and friend of the Hebron shooter, told the Jaffa Military Court on Monday in describing the events surrounding the March 24 killing of an immobilized Palestinian terrorist in Hebron.
As part of the manslaughter trial which continues to garner national and international attention, T.M. was giving testimony which could devastate the defense of IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria for shooting knife attacker Abdel Fatah al-Sharif.
His name is under gag order after other soldiers who testified for the IDF prosecution against Azaria faced heavy incitement on social media.
Azaria and T.M. were friends and the former had given T.M. his helmet right before the fatal shooting incident.
In addition to saying that he would have stopped Azaria, T.M. gave testimony that is a potential dagger to Azaria’s case. He said, “Elor told the [Kfir Brigade] company commander that my friend was stabbed and [the terrorist] deserved to die.”
The combination of these statements could destroy Azaria’s alibi that he gave once under investigation that he shot al-Sharif in self-defense as it seems to make it clear that in real time he shot him in revenge for his stabbing of his friend.
However, in cross-examination it became clear that T.M. sought to side with Azaria as much as possible.
He started to say he was not really sure exactly what Azaria had said to him and explained that he and Azaria were in shock and were both worried about al-Sharif wearing an explosive.
If al-Sharif had been wearing an explosive or the defense convinces the military court that Azaria was reasonably worried about a bomb, he might have a defense to the manslaughter charge he currently faces.