Israeli soldier who killed wounded Palestinian attacker loses appeal
An Israeli military appeal court upheld a manslaughter conviction and 18-month jail sentence on Sunday for a former army conscript who killed an incapacitated Palestinian assailant in the occupied West Bank.
In one of the most divisive trials in the Israel’s history, the panel of judges, including field generals, rejected challenges lodged by Elor Azaria, who says he had acted in line with defence doctrines.
“Values have been greatly damaged by the defendant’s actions,” the chief judge, Major-General Doron Feiles, said in reading out the ruling. “This was a forbidden and immoral act.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, however, said the ex-soldier should be pardoned.
In March 2015, Azaria was serving as an army medic in the town of Hebron in the occupied West Bank when two Palestinians stabbed and wounded another soldier. One of the assailants was shot dead by troops. The other was shot and wounded.
Eleven minutes later, as the wounded man, Abd Elfatah Ashareef, 21, lay on the ground unable to move, Azaria, then 19, took aim with his rifle and fatally shot him in the head. The incident was captured on video by a Palestinian rights activist.