Israel soldier Elor Azaria found guilty of manslaughter

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A military court has found an Israeli soldier guilty of manslaughter over the killing of a wounded Palestinian last year.

The court convened at the defence ministry building in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to issue the verdict in the high-profile case that raised questions over rules of engagement towards perceived threats by Palestinians.

A judge read out the court’s decision for more than two hours before announcing the verdict. The soldier, 20-year-old Elor Azaria, could now face a maximum 20 years in prison.

The March 24 shooting of Fatah al-Sharif, 21, as he lay overpowered on the ground was filmed by activists from the Israeli B’Tselem human rights group.

Al-Sharif and another Palestinian his age were shot as they allegedly lunged at an Israeli soldier guarding a checkpoint in Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

In the video, a combat medic, later identified as Azaria, raises and aims his rifle, then a shot is heard. The Palestinian’s head jolts, and he suddenly has what seems to be a fresh head wound.

Scuffles erupted outside the courtroom between supporters of the Israeli soldier and police officers before the verdict was announced.

Hundreds of demonstrators blocked a major Tel Aviv intersection near the courtroom and clashed with police. Journalists covering the demonstration said they were attacked by demonstrators.

Several people were arrested.

Aljazeera

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