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Israeli Soldier Sentenced to 18 Months for Deadly Shooting of Wounded Palestinian Attacker

Right wing politicians call for pardon for soldier | Azaria to start term on March 5th | Defense vows to appeal | Dozens protest outside military court in Tel Aviv | Azaria implored court to be 'merciful.'

Elor Azaria in court, Tel Aviv, February 21, 2017.
Tomer Appelbaum

Israel Defense Forces soldier Elor Azaria, convicted of manslaughter, was sentenced by a military court on Tuesday to 18 months in jail, a year's probation and a demotion in rank. His defense has vowed to appeal and politicians from the right called for him to be pardoned.

Reiterating the key points in the conviction, the judges said he acted with the intent to kill and not because he felt threatened, as IDF protocol demands. The judge said that the severity of the event and the price it exerted from the IDF were mitigated by the fact it took place in an active combat situation.

Azaria, an army medic, was convicted of killing Palestinian attacker Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in Hebron in March last year while Sharif was lying wounded and immobile on the ground. Al-Sharif and another man had earlier attacked another soldier with knives.

>> Why the Hebron Shooter Trial Is Dividing Israel