An Israeli soldier filmed shooting an injured Palestinian in the head after an attack on troops has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for manslaughter.
Sergeant Elor Azaria, an IDF medic, shot disabled terrorist Abdel Fatah al-Sharif in Hebron in March, in an incident captured on camera by a resident and published by human rights group B’Tselem.
Prosecutors had earlier asked the court for a custodial sentence of 3-5 years, in a case that polarised the country and contributed to the resignation of Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
During the military court’s sentencing on Tuesday, supporters of Azaria gathered outside IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, hailing him as a hero. They chanted: “The people of Israel do not abandon soldiers,” and “we’ve come to take Elor”.
Azaria’s lawyers argued that it was self-defence, and that he thought there was an imminent danger to the lives of his fellow soldiers, but video evidence showed this not to be the case. They later asked that Azaria serve only “open detention”.
In a statement to the court, Azaria himself asked for leniency, saying: “After 10 months of trial, after 10 months of torture and suffering for me and my family, which has collapsed, I ask the court to be merciful in judging me.”
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