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21 February 2017 - 23:43
News ID: 427577
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Rasa - A Palestinian government spokesman has denounced a short prison sentence handed down to Sergeant Elor Azaria, the Israeli killer of a Palestinian man, saying it gives the regime forces the "green light" to commit more crimes against Palestinians.
This still grabbed from video released by Isreali human rights group, B’Tselem, on March 24, 2016 shows Israeli soldier, Elor Azaria, aiming his weapon before shooting dead already-subdued Palestinian, Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron). (Photo by AFP)

RNA - "The Palestinian government views this light ruling against the murderer soldier as a green light to the occupation army to continue its crimes," Tarek Rishmawi said on Tuesday.

 

The remarks came shortly after a military court in Tel Aviv sentenced Azaria to 18 months in prison for shooting dead severely-wounded Palestinian, Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, following an alleged stabbing attack in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) last year.

 

Following Tuesday’s verdict, Sharif's father Yusri told journalists, "A year and a half is a farce," asking, "What does a year and a half mean? Was he [the Palestinian victim] an animal to be killed like this, in this barbaric way?"

 

The March 2016 killing, which was captured on video by a Palestinian human rights activist, prompted widespread international condemnation. 

 

The footage shows Azaria cocking his rifle and fatally shooting Sharif in the head from just several meters away while the victim was still alive.

 

Last month, a three-judge military court convicted the Israeli soldier of manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum 20-year term.

 

However, prosecutors had asked for a three-to-five year sentence, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying he would support any decision to pardon Azaria.

 

Passing the 18-month sentence, the Israeli court said Azaria had "taken upon himself to be both judge and executioner" and had not expressed regret for his crime.

 

It was not immediately clear if Azaria's lawyers would opt to appeal.

 

The Israeli regime has come under fire for using lethal force against Palestinians and adopting a policy of shoot-to-kill.

 

The occupied territories have witnessed tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

 

According to Palestinian media, over 280 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015, when the tensions intensified.

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