The family of Sgt. Elor Azaria, an ID soldier on trial after shooting dead an already-neutralized terrorist in Hebron, managed to raise over NIS 400,000 from the public by Monday morning to fund legal expenses for their son, exceeding their expectations.
Azaria's parents launched a crowdfunding campaign on the website Headstart on Sunday evening and were able to raise their goal of NIS 400,000 and more.
"I turn to you, dear mothers, please help me bring my son home," Azaria's mother Oshra says in a video on the campaign page.
Azaria, who is facing charges of manslaughter, is being represented by four senior attorneys who are experts in cases like his.
"All of the trial expenses cost a fortune, and in our situation we can't afford it," Charlie, Azaria's father, says in tears in the video.
"We want the truth to come out and for him to come back home. Today it is my son, tomorrow it could be your son, your grandson, your great-grandson," Charlie adds. "How can it be that a soldier who merely went to serve his country is abandoned, and suddenly we're told 'deal with this on your own'?"
Just as in any crowdfunding campaign, each donation is rewarded by a perk. For NIS 50, the donor will receive a certificate of support and appreciation from the family. Those giving NIS 100 will get a personal letter of thanks from the Azaria family.
For NIS 200, the donor will receive a T-Shirt that says "All for one, Am Israel Chai," while a NIS 300 donation will reward the contributor with the T-Shirt as well as a certificate of appreciation.
Those who donate NIS 500 will get a tour of the Channel 20 studios and a lecture on the media, a NIS 10,000 donation will get the contributor a parlor meeting in his home and a lecture on the media.
Azaria's trial has been ongoing for several weeks at a military court. His defense team is led by Eyal Besserglick, an expert on criminal law, and Ilan Katrz, the former Deputy to the Military Advocate General. Other members of the team include Karmit Shahiber and Binyamin Malka.
The lawyers did not object to the campaign. "How the family raises money is their own business," said Besserglick. "Anything that can help fund the expenses is good. The defense has a lot of expenses—fees for professional services, expert witnesses, consultations over legal opinions, even photocopying expenses. This is an intensive case that has five people just from my office working on 24/7, and of course there were clients I had to reject because of it. The pace is crazy. In such a trial, you are usually given about half a year to present evidence, but in this trial we were given a week."