Israeli soldier Elor Azaria is embraced by his mother at the start of his sentencing hearing in a military court in Tel Aviv, on February 21, 2017
Israeli soldier Elor Azaria is embraced by his mother at the start of his sentencing hearing in a military court in Tel Aviv, on February 21, 2017 © JIM HOLLANDER - Pool/AFP
Israeli soldier Elor Azaria is embraced by his mother at the start of his sentencing hearing in a military court in Tel Aviv, on February 21, 2017
AFP
Last updated: February 22, 2017

Arab League denounces 18-month sentence for Israeli soldier

Banner Icon The Arab League condemned on Wednesday an Israeli court sentence of 18 months in prison for a soldier who shot dead a wounded Palestinian assailant, saying it reflected "racism".

The military court sentenced Elor Azaria on Tuesday after he was convicted of manslaughter for killing Abdul Fatah al-Sharif in the occupied West Bank in March last year.

He also received 18 months in suspended sentences and was demoted from sergeant to private.

"The Israeli military court ruling exposes the level of Israeli disregard for Palestinian blood... and the extent of racism in the occupation's institutions," the 22-member bloc said in a statement.

The shooting in the West Bank city of Hebron was caught on video by a rights group and spread widely online.

It showed Sharif, 21, lying wounded on the ground, shot along with another Palestinian after stabbing and wounding a soldier, according to the army.

Azaria then shoots him in the head without any apparent provocation.

The case, which came against the backdrop of a wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks that erupted in October 2015, has stirred controversy.

Some on the Israeli right have defended the soldier, a French-Israeli national, but military officials said the trial was important to maintain the institution's reputation.

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