Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter over shooting of Palestinian attacker

Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter over shooting of Palestinian attacker
Elor Azaria

An Israeli military court has convicted a soldier of manslaughter over the fatal shooting of an incapacitated Palestinian attacker.

The verdict caps a nine-month saga that has deeply divided the country.

Defence officials have criticised Sergeant Elor Azaria's conduct, while large segments of the Israeli public, along with members of the nationalist ruling coalition, have rallied behind him.

In delivering her verdict, Colonel Maya Heller systematically rejected all of Azaria's defence arguments, saying "the fact that the man on the ground was a terrorist does not justify a disproportionate response".

The court threw out a relative of Azaria, while a second relative stormed out after his conviction.

A young woman called the verdict a disgrace and screamed "the Israeli military is over" before she was thrown out of the courtroom.

Another woman screamed "disgusting leftists" and stormed out.

Azaria sat emotionless as the verdict was delivered.

He is expected to be sentenced in several weeks.

- AP

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