tiptrot.com May 26, 2018

Zionist Soldier Convicted of Killing Wounded Palestinian Is Freed

11 May 2018, 01:26 | Bernice Figueroa

Ex-IDF soldier convicted of manslaughter released from prison

Elor Azaria Released from Jail

An Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter for shooting dead an incapacitated Palestinian assailant was freed from prison on Tuesday and greeted by supporters as a hero after serving nine months behind bars, half his original sentence.

Elor Azaria was initially sentenced to 18 months in prison for the killing of Abdul Fatah al-Sharif in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in March 2016.

Further, in September 2017, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot commuted Azaris' sentence from 18 months to 14 months - meaning his sentence had already been effectively reduced twice even before he was granted an early release by the parole board.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, tweeted his congratulations to Azaria along with a picture of the family, saying "It's good to have you home".

Azaria released a family photo using his personal page on Facebook under the caption "My family is reunited, there can be no greater joy".

Footage of the 2016 killing showed Azaria chamber a round into his rifle before pulling the trigger on al-Sharif, who remained prone on the ground surrounded by armed IDF personnel.

Azaria became the subject of an investigation after an activist with Israeli rights group B'Tselem captured him on film fatally shooting al-Sharif - unarmed and injured - in the head.

The trooper had told the court that he had shot Sharif fearing that he was wearing an explosive belt. Prior to shooting Sharif, Azaria had cared for a stabbed soldier. They also pointed out that the soldier's sentence "is less than [what] a Palestinian child gets for throwing stones". "I appeal to the [Israeli] President Reuven Rivlin, to act now to delete the criminal record... in order for him to integrate into civilian life and continue his life in a proper way".

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