Demonstration in support of Israeli soldier on trial attacked

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A demonstration in solidarity with the Israeli soldier on trial for shooting and killing an incapacitated Palestinian assailant was attacked by counterdemonstrators.

The five attackers, whose faces were covered, disrupted the reported dozens of youth marching  near the government complex in Tel Aviv, throwing a tear gas canister into the crowd. The attackers, members of a leftist organization, were arrested.

Former far-right Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari reportedly was injured by the tear gas. His Otzma Yehudit or Jewish Strength party said after the incident that the leftists had “crossed a dangerous red line.”

The soldier, Elor Azaria, is on trial for manslaughter and inappropriate military conduct in the shooting death of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif on March 24 as he lay injured on the ground. Sharif was shot as he and another assailant launched a stabbing attack on Israeli soldiers in Hebron, wounding one.

An online fundraising drive to help Azaria with his legal fees last week raised more than $120,000 over a 24-hour period.

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