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Who is Elor Azaria? Israeli Soldier Convicted Over Death Of Palestinian

Who is Elor Azaria? Israeli Soldier Convicted Over Death Of Palestinian

Sgt Elor Azaria was caught on video fatally shooting Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, in the head as he lay unarmed and immobile in the middle of the road.

"For me, a just verdict will be one that is similar to the verdicts our sons (in Israeli prisons) get", Yusri al-Sharif said.

"This is not how we should treat our soldiers". Col. Heller said Azaria acted contrary to the rules for opening fire and gave testimony that was inconsistent and not credible.

But a week later, as Bennett led right-wing cabinet members arguing that putting Azaria on trial would undermine military morale, Netanyahu phoned the soldier's parents to express his sympathy in what was widely interpreted as a slap in the face to his military commanders. Azaria later shot the terrorist in the head, killing him, claiming that he feared that the terrorist had been carrying a bomb that he meant to explode even while he was on the ground.

Judge Colonel Maya Heller spent more than two and a half hours reading out the court decision Wednesday, sharply criticising the arguments of Azaria's lawyers. Some of them shouted "Gadi be careful, Rabin is looking for a friend", The Times of Israel reports.

Israeli media has kept a close eye on the drawn-out proceedings, which saw a stream of witnesses and experts testifying for or against the soldier.

At the time, al-Sharif was lying on the ground after being shot by other soldiers while he carried out a stabbing attack. "A trial should not have happened in the first place, we are talking about a combat situation in which a terrorist was killed", said Culture Minister Miri Regev.

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"This is a hard and painful day for all of us - and first and foremost for Elor and his family, for many Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, and for the parents of our soldiers, and me among them", Netanyahu wrote in a post on his Facebook page. President Reven Rivlin, who has the right to grant a pardon, will consider the matter after sentencing.

"Despite the hard verdict, the first thing I ask from us all - from those who are in favour of this verdict and from those who like the verdict much less, including myself - we are all obliged to respect the legal decision, we are all obliged to keep restraint", said Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

"Even those, like myself, who like the verdict less, must accept and respect it", Lieberman said. She said that statement had "significant weight in the decision". Israel's military has said it believes a significant number of them were essentially on suicide missions.

The case has been deeply polarizing in Israel, The Associated Press reports.

An Israeli military court has convicted a soldier of manslaughter for shooting and killing a Palestinian assailant who was already incapacitated.

Husseini said Palestinians build without permit not because they want to, but because the Israeli municipality does not grant them permits to build in order to lower the number of Palestinians in the city vis-a-vis Jewish settlers.


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