Prosecution in Azaria case expected to seek 3 to 5 years
The IDF prosecution is currently in discussions over what sentence to demand next week for Sgt. Elor Azaria, who was found guilty of manslaughter for shooting neutralized terrorist Abed al Fatah a-Sharif in Hebron last year; reports claim that it is leaning toward three to five years in jail.
IDF prosecution will reportedly ask to sentence Sgt. Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter earlier this month for shooting neutralized terrorist Abed al Fatah a-Sharif, to three to five years in prison.
"He opened fired in violation of orders, the terrorist did not pose any threat," the three judges wrote in explaining their unanimous decision to convict Azaria.
The shooting was captured on camera by a resident of the city, causing a stir and major debate within the country—reaching the highest political and military echelons—about the conduct of the IDF and its commanders in the field.
Before announcing the final verdict, Central Command Chief Justice Col. Maya Heller systematically rejected all of Azaria's defense arguments for over two-and-a-half-hours.
Judge Heller emphasized that "the verdict is based solely on the evidence brought forth (in the trial)" amid repeated claims from Azaria's supporters that senior IDF leadership, politicians, the media and even public opinion could influence the ruling.
“There is no question that the defendant shot from close range after aiming his gun at the terrorist’s head and there is no dispute that by doing so he endangered the lives of those around him,” she stated.
She also sought to debunk what she described as conflicting claims made by the defense teams. "The defendant tried to hold the rope at both ends—on the one hand he claimed the terrorist moved and on the other that he was already dead before he (Azaria) shot him," she noted.
“There was no justification for the shooting. The fact that there was a terrorist on the ground who sought to take the lives of soldiers did not justify disproportionate action,” she insisted. “Azaria’s shooting was inconsistent with the rules of opening fire.”
Azaria has been under open arrest over the last few days in a facility in the center of Israel.