An Israeli soldier’s request for a pardon after being convicted of manslaughter for shooting dead a wounded Palestinian attacker has been denied by the country’s president.

Reuven Rivlin said he rejected the request by Elor Azaria because it would harm the resilience of Israel’s military, and that a chief value of the military was the use of weapons with only necessary force.

Azaria, who was caught on video shooting the attacker, began his 18-month sentence in August and Israel’s military chief later reduced the sentence by four months.

Azaria’s case divided Israel sharply with the military pushing for his prosecution, saying he violated its code of ethics, and many Israelis, particularly on the nationalist right, defending his actions.

A statement from President Reuven Rivlin’s office said he rejected the request by Elor Azaria because it would harm the “resilience” of Israel’s military.

President Rivlin said a chief value of the military was the “purity of arms,” or the use of weapons with only necessary force.

Azaria began serving an 18-month sentence in August and Israel’s military chief later reduced the sentence by four months.

He was caught on video shooting a wounded Palestinian attacker. His case sharply divided the nation.

Israel’s military pushed for his prosecution, saying he violated its code of ethics. Many Israelis, particularly on the nationalist right, defended his actions.