Clashes Erupt After Israeli Solider Is Convicted Of Manslaughter For Executing Wounded Palestinian Assailant

In 2016, the international community was outraged when a video clip recording showed a young Israeli soldier, Sargeant Elor Azaria, executing at point blank range a Palestinian assailant who lay wounded and motionless on the ground, after he stabbed another Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank. Azaria was an army medic serving in the Israeli-occupied city of Hebron – an overwhelmingly Palestinian town with a small but vociferous group of Jewish settlers living in the heart of the old town – when two Palestinians carried out the stabbing in March of 2016. Hebron has been a longtime flashpoint of violence, and the incident occurred during a wave of Palestinian street attacks on Israelis. One of the two assailants was shot dead by troops. The other was shot and wounded. Eleven minutes later, as the wounded man, Abd Elfatah Ashareef, 21, lay on the ground incapacitated, Azaria shot him in the head with an assault rifle. Fast forward to Wednesday, when Azaria was convicted of manslaughter in what has proben to be one of the most polarizing cases in Israel's history. The decision to court-martial Azaria stirred public controversy in Israel from the start, with right-wing politicians calling after the verdict on President Reuven Rivlin to pardon the 20-year-old defendant. Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got involved in the contentuous case, saying he supported pardoning Azaria in a post on his Facebook page. "This is a difficult and painful day – first and foremost for Elor, his family, Israel's soldiers, many citizens and parents of soldiers, among them me … I support granting a pardon to Elor Azaria," Netanyahu said on his Facebook page. According to Reuters, a poll published on Wednesday night by Israel's Channel 2 television showed that 67% of respondents favouring a pardon. At the trial, Azaria contended that he believed the Palestinian, though motionless, still posed a danger because his knife was nearby, and that he might have been carrying explosives. "He deserves to die," Azaria was quoted in the verdict as telling another soldier after pulling the trigger. He lied. The video footage of the shooting, taken by a Palestinian human rights activist, showed the knife was not within Ashareef's reach, and no bomb was found. The scandalous video was distributed to news organizations, ensuring that the incident drew international attention amid allegations by Palestinians and rights groups that Israeli soldiers have been using excessive…

Source: ZeroHedge

Clashes Erupt After Israeli Solider Is Convicted Of Manslaughter For Executing Wounded Palestinian Assailant

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