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Elor Azaria gets 18 months for Palestinian killing | News

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An Israeli soldier who shot and killed a wounded Palestinian, who was incapaciated having already been gunned down, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for manslaughter.

A military court in Tel Aviv delivered the sentencing on Tuesday in a case that has stoked passions, debate and protest.

Analysts had expected Elor Azaria to be jailed for fewer than the maximum sentence of 20 years for killing Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif.

The March 24 shooting in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron was filmed by activists from the Israeli B’Tselem human rights group.

That video shows Sharif, 21, lying on the ground, shot along with another Palestinian.

Azaria, a 20-year-old combat medic, then delivers the fatal blow, shooting him again in the head without any provocation.

According to the army, Sharif had stabbed and wounded another soldier.

The case raised questions over how Israeli soldiers deal with perceived threats by Palestinians.

Shortly after the shooting, the Palestinian leadership demanded the United Nations investigate what rights groups have called Israel’s “extrajudicial killings”.

Sharif’s father, Yusri, has previously said Azaria deserves a life sentence.

According to a survey in August by the Israel Democracy Institute, 65 percent of the Jewish public supported Azaria and his claim of self-defence.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other prominent Israeli politicians had thrown their weight behing Azaria, calling for the soldier to be pardoned.

Since October 2015, Israeli soldiers and settlers have been responsible for the killing of at least 244 Palestinians, including unarmed demonstrators, bystanders and alleged attackers in an upsurge in violence.

Thirty-six Israelis have also been killed in mostly stabbing and shooting incidents carried out by Palestinians.



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