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Israeli Soldier Who Killed Wounded Palestinian Attacker Loses Appeal



An Israeli military court has rejected the appeal of a soldier who was jailed for 18 months for killing a wounded Palestinian attacker.

Elor Azaria was found guilty in January of manslaughter over the March 2016 shooting of Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.

Azaria had told a colleague that Sharif, who had stabbed another soldier, “deserved to die”.

Israeli military chiefs condemned his actions, but others praised them.

Azaria – a sergeant and military medic – had appealed against the verdict, while the prosecution was demanding an increased sentence.

As well as rejecting his appeal, the court decided Azaria’s 18-month sentence should stand, saying that his version of events had been unreliable.

His “original reason” for killing Sharif was revenge, Times of Israel reported, quoting the judges.

Azaria had said he acted out of fear that Sharif might have been wearing an explosive vest.

However, “Azaria’s shooting [of the Palestinian assailant Abdel Fattah al-Sharif] was not motivated by fear of the terrorist’s future action,” the judges said.

The judges were also critical of the 21-year-old who, they said, “decided to question the character of nearly everyone who questioned his character, and never expressed remorse or questioned his actions”.

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He was, however, “a devoted and excelling warrior until the incident”, the judges said, according to the Times of Israel.