Jan 042017
Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter for killing wounded Palestinian

A young Israeli soldier who shot dead a Palestinian assailant lying wounded and motionless on the ground in the occupied West Bank was convicted of manslaughter on Wednesday in one of the most polarising cases in Israel's history.The decision to court-martial Sergeant Elor Azaria, who shot the Palestinian after the assailant stabbed another Israeli soldier last March, 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.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he supported pardoning Azaria in a post on his Facebook page. A poll published on Wednesday night by Israel's Channel 2 television showed that 67 per cent of respondents favouring a pardon.“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.As the decision was being read at a heavily guarded military court in Tel Aviv, several hundred far-right backers of Azaria – one of them carrying a Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” banner – clashed with police outside the facility.Ten months ago, Azaria was an army medic serving in the Israeli-occupied city of Hebron when two Palestinians carried out the stabbing. Hebron has been a longtime flashpoint of violence, and the incident occurred during a wave of Palestinian street attacks on Israelis. Supporters of Israeli solider scuffle outside the Israeli military court in [Read More…]

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