Elor Azaria, the soldier of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) who killed an immobile Palestinian has been convicted of manslaughter by a military tribunal after a controversial trial that lasted for months.
Elon had shot and killed Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in March of 2016, Abdel Fateh had already been wounded and incapacitated after he had attacked Israeli soldiers in Hebron in the West Bank.
Sgt. Elor Azaria was caught on film as he shot the assailant in the head from distance, the people of Israel were divided ahead of the conviction. There are those who think that he should be punished for breaking the military code while others are of the point of view that he was justified in killing the assailant.
The trial went on for eight months and a panel of three judges concluded that Sgt. Elor Azaria’s actions were not justified, the judges did not agreed to his statement that he shot the assailant fearing that he might attack again.
The producers said in their indictment: “Sgt. Azaria violated the rules of engagement without operational justification as the terrorist was lying on the ground wounded and represented no immediate threat for the accused or others who were present”.
The testimonies of eyewitnesses proved that Azaria originally killed Sharif out of revenge as he had stabbed one of his friends, the story told by Azaria’s defense lawyers was in contradiction.
It took more than two hours to declare the verdict as the judges rejected the claims of the defense one by one.
The testimony of Azaria’s fellow soldiers was crucial who confirmed that Azaria had told him that he killed the assailant out of revenge. The judges upheld his testimony and found Sgt. Elor Azaria guilty of manslaughter.