Demonstration in support of Israeli soldier on trial is attacked


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

The five assailants, whose faces were covered, disrupted the estimated dozens of youths marching near the government complex in Tel Aviv, according to reports, throwing a tear gas canister into the crowd. The alleged attackers, members of a leftist organization, were arrested.

A former far-right Knesset member, Michael Ben-Ari, reportedly was injured by the tear gas. His Otzma Yehudit, or Jewish Strength party, said 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 last week to help Azaria with his legal fees raised more than $120,000 over a 24-hour period.

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