Jerusalem: Israel’s military chief of staff has reduced the sentence of Elor Azaria’s sentence by four months. He was found guilty in shooting dead a severely wounded Palestinian.
The sentence is cut from 18 to 14 months on Wednesday. He had shot a bullet from close range into the head of 21-year-old Abdel al-Fattah al-Sharif.
Human rights groups and Palestinian leaders, who had already slammed the 18-month sentence as “extremely lenient”, said Wednesday’s decision was further proof that for Israelis, “Palestinian lives mean nothing to them”, reported Al Jazeera.
“We are in a system of apartheid. The reduction of the sentence is an encouragement for Israeli soldiers to commit violations” against Palestinians, Mustafa Barghouti, a senior member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) central council said.
“In comparison, Palestinians are subjected to collective punishment whenever one of them is accused of committing a crime,” he said.
In March 2016, Azaria could be seen in a video, at occupied West Bank city of Hebron, by a human rights group and was spread widely online.
It showed Sharif lying wounded on the ground, shot along with another Palestinian Aziz al-Qasrawi, after stabbing and wounding a soldier, according to the army.
Some 11 minutes after the initial shooting, Azaria, a sergeant and military medic at the time of the incident, shot him in the head without any apparent provocation.
The family of Sharif said that Azaria had carried out a “cold-blooded execution”, not manslaughter. They added: “The sentence he received is less than a Palestinian child gets for throwing stones.