Soldier gets 18 months for executing attacker
An Israeli soldier who executed a wounded Palestinian attacker has been sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison in a military trial that has deeply divided Israel.
The sentence is lighter than the three to five years asked for by military prosecutors and significantly more lenient than the 20 years he could have faced.
Sergeant Elor Azaria (20) was arrested last year after video emerged of him shooting a Palestinian man as he lay bleeding in the street in the West Bank city of Hebron.
The Palestinian, Abdul Fatah al-Sharif (21), had stabbed an Israeli soldier moments before and had been shot but not killed by other Israeli troops.
The footage shows Sgt Azaria cocking his rifle and shooting the man once in the head as he lay motionless at the feet of Israeli forces.
Judge Maya Heller, the head of a three-judge panel in the case, said that Azaria "took upon himself to be both judge and executioner".
Within moments of the verdict being read out, Israeli government ministers began clamouring for a pardon for Azaria, who has become a folk hero for the Israeli right.
"The security of the citizens of Israel demands an immediate pardon for Elor Azaria, who was sent to protect us," wrote Naftali Bennett, the leader of a pro-settler party within Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government.