Appeal of soldier convicted of killing Palestinian rejected

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Jerusalem, July 31 (IANS) An Israeli military court on Sunday rejected an appeal by an Israeli soldier convicted of killing an incapacitated Palestinian in the West Bank city of Hebron in March.

The court also rejected the appeal of the prosecutors to increase the sentence of 18-month term, Xinhua news agency reported.

On March 24, Elor Azaria, 20, shot Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, 21, when he was injured and immobilized on the ground.

The incident took place in the neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida in Hebron, where a few hundreds of settlers live in a heavily guarded enclave among some 200,000 Palestinians.

A military court in Tel Aviv convicted Azaria of manslaughter in January and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.

Both Azaria and the prosecutors have appealed to the court. Azaria demanded for reconsideration of his conviction while the prosecutors requested a harsher sentence.

A panel of five judges rejected both appeals, upholding the manslaughter conviction and the ruling of 18 months in prison.

The judges said that shooting a wounded Palestinian, as he was motionlessly lying on the ground, was a “forbidden, severe, immoral” act, adding that the “appellant had an intent to kill the assailant.”

With his appeal rejected, Azaria can either take the case to the Supreme Court or ask for a reduced sentence, said his attorney, adding that a presidential pardon given by President Reuven Rivlin is another option.

–IANS

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