Israeli soldier given 18 months for executing Palestinian attacker

World Today

Israel Soldier SentencedIsraeli soldier Elor Azaria is embraced by his mother at the start of his sentencing hearing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. The court sentenced Azaria to 18 months in prison for the fatal shooting of a wounded Palestinian assailant. The Palestinian, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, was lying on the ground badly wounded and already unarmed when Azaria shot him in the head. Prosecutors had asked that Sgt. Elor Azaria be sentenced to 3-5 years in prison. (Jim Hollander, Pool, via AP)

An Israeli military court has sentenced a soldier to 18 months in prison for killing an injured Palestinian attacker. Elor Azaria was caught on camera shooting the wounded man in the West Bank city of Hebron last year. During the sentencing, hundreds of Israelis gathered outside of the courtroom in Tel Aviv, saying the killing was justified.

CGTN’s Stephanie Freid filed this report.

Israeli soldier given 18 months for executing Palestinian attacker

An Israeli soldier is sentenced to 18 months in prison for the killing of an injured Palestinian attacker. Hundreds of Israelis protested the ruling, claiming the killing was justified. The Palestinian man's family has condemned the ruling as too light and unacceptable.

Convicted of manslaughter in January, the maximum sentence Elor Azaria could have received was twenty years.

Palestinian victim Abdel Fatah Al-Sharif’s family dismissed the sentencing saying anything less than life behind bars is unacceptable.

Despite the relatively light sentence, Azaria supporters outside the courtroom protested the court’s decision saying the killing was justified self-defence.

“This court should have not even been televised. He was sent to the army to do something, he did his job. If you want to condemn him or to give him a slap on the wrist or something, do it in the army court. Not on television. Not like that,” said one protester.

The case has sparked intense moral debate among Israelis – according to an August poll, sixty-five percent of the country’s Jewish population supported the soldier’s actions.