Israeli minister: Pardon convicted soldier

2017-01-04 18:06
An Israeli hard line nationalist supporter of Israeli army medic Sergeant Elor Azaria wears a shirt with his photograph outside the Israeli military court in Tel Aviv. (Ariel Schalit, AP)

An Israeli hard line nationalist supporter of Israeli army medic Sergeant Elor Azaria wears a shirt with his photograph outside the Israeli military court in Tel Aviv. (Ariel Schalit, AP)

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Tel Aviv - A hawkish member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition is calling for an "immediate pardon" for the Israeli soldier that killed a wounded Palestinian assailant.

Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party, posted on Facebook: "Today a soldier who killed a terrorist who deserved to die, who had tried to slaughter a soldier, was put in handcuffs and convicted like a criminal."

Other Israeli leaders have expressed similar sentiments.

Sergeant Elor Azaria was convicted on Wednesday of convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, who lay on the ground incapacitated from shots sustained after he stabbed and wounded a soldier in the volatile West Bank city of Hebron.

The incident came during a year in which Palestinian attackers have carried out dozens of stabbing attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The victim's father, Yousri al-Sharif, welcomed the conviction. "I feel good. It is fair. This is an achievement of the court that it condemned the soldier."

Al-Sharif gathered with his family in his home in the West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday to watch the verdict being read live on Israeli television. It took the judge nearly three hours to deliver the verdict.

"I was exhausted and tense," he said. "I smoked two packs of cigarettes while watching the verdict."


Read more on:    palestine  |  israel

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