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Sa’ar taps former military advocate general Afek as deputy AG

Veteran attorney, IDF’s first-ever openly gay major general, dealt with a number of high-profile cases during tenure, most notably that of Hebron shooter Elor Azaria

MIlitary Advocate General Maj. Gen. Sharon Afek speaks at a conference, in Tel Aviv on April 25, 2017. (Roy Alima/Flash90)
MIlitary Advocate General Maj. Gen. Sharon Afek speaks at a conference, in Tel Aviv on April 25, 2017. (Roy Alima/Flash90)

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar on Wednesday announced that he will recommend former military advocate general Sharon Afek for the role of deputy attorney general.

His nomination was unanimously approved by a selection panel headed by Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara.

“Attorney Sharon Afek is a paragon of excellence and public service and I am convinced of his ability to make a unique and significant contribution to the Justice Ministry and justice system,” Sa’ar said in a statement.

The justice minister is set to bring his nomination for government approval as soon as Sunday, according to the Ynet news site.

Afek, the country’s first openly gay major general, served in the army in legal positions for 25 years before being appointed military advocate general in October 2015, taking over for Maj. Gen. (res.) Danny Efroni.

During his tenure in office, Afek dealt with a number of high-profile cases, most notably the fallout from a 2016 incident in which soldier Elor Azaria shot to death a subdued Palestinian attacker in Hebron, and was subsequently convicted of manslaughter.

Former IDF soldier Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter for shooting dead an incapacitated Palestinian assailant in the West Bank city of Hebron, appears before a parole board in the army’s Tel Aviv headquarters on March 14, 2018. (Flash90)

Conservatives were expected to protest the nomination over his handling of the Azaria affair and his sexual orientation.

Likud MK Shlomo Karhi said the first task of the “nationalist right-wing government soon to be established is to do away with this man immediately.”

After retiring from the IDF in 2021, Afek was succeeded by Brig. Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, the second female major general in the country’s history.

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