Israeli military court in Tel Aviv today has finally sentenced an Israeli soldier to 18 months in prison over killing a Palestinian youth, claiming it was only manslaughter (unintentional murder).
The video of the killing was widely spread, and shows soldier Elor Azaria shooting Abdul-Fattah Al-Sharif (20) in the head while he was already wounded and motionless on the ground.
The prosecutors demanded 3-5 years of prison for Azaria, his defense attorney demanded immediate release. However, the court sentenced him to 18 months only.
The Al-Sharif family was closely following the case of their son’s killer on TV, describing it as a “sarcastic play.”
Abdul-Fattah’s father, Yosri Al-Sharif, in response to the court told PNN: “If a Palestinian kills an animal by mistake, he would be sentenced to years in prison and fined for big amounts of money, but because the soldier is Israeli, he only receives a light sentence, even though his crime was filmed on video.”
Al-Sharif added that the footage from the court room aimed to decieve the public opinion despite Azaria carrying out a flagrant crime in daylight.
The family, who has been closely following the case since their son was killed, strongly denounced the sentence, adding that Israel is trying to appear as a democartic state who tries its own soldiers, when in fact they were only murdereds who receive light sentences.
To her part, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said “This is a travesty of justice; it is apparent that the Israeli judicial system has become compromised with the systemic racism, injustice and the culture of hate that is plaguing the Israeli occupation.
“The impunity of Israeli behavior as a state is now extending to the actions of its soldiers and citizens. This sentencing demonstrates the active devaluation of human life, especially the lives of Palestinians that have been oppressed and held captive by an Israeli occupation for far too long,” Ashrawi added.
Calls for pardon by right-wing Israeli ministers for the crime of “manslaughter” reflects the true nature of this government that acts outside the most basic norms of justice, morality and judicial integrity.”
Head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, Qaddura Fares, said that the decision represents the Israeli collusion against the Palestinian people, and it counts as a green light for other soldiers to carry out such crimes. since, even though it is an single case, it can be repeated.
Faris added that even though the sentence was not enough, it was still held not because Israel was an ethical state, but only because the crime was filmed on video by a Palestinian photographer.