Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who killed a Palestinian man was found guilty of manslaughter and convicted to 18 months in prison on Tuesday. The sentence has been met with disappointment by some human rights associations and the man’s family.
The father of the victim called it a ‘show trial’ which exposed Israel’s understanding on ‘justice’ to Palestinians.
Speaking to reporters, Yusri al-Sharif said, “If someone is arrested for throwing a stone, they get a two-year sentence. In this case, a soldier murdered and got a year and a half” and added, “My son is not an animal.”
Mr al-Sharif was referring to the case of five teenagers from east Jerusalem who were sentenced in March last year for throwing stones at cars.
Saleh Ashraf Ishtayya, 16, was given three years and three months in prison, Muhammad Ahmad Jaber, 14: three years in prison, Murad Raed Alqam, 14: three years in prison, Muhammad Na’el Tayeh, 17: two years and four months in prison, Zaid Ayed al-Taweel, 16: two years and four months in prison, the Independent reported.
In the same trial, 14-year-old Omar Rani Yaseen received a one-year sentence, and Yazan Hani Ayoub, whose age was not given, was given one year and two months in prison.
The shooting of Mr. Sharif, who was unarmed and lying on his back on the ground, ignited outrage on social media.
“Sending Elor Azaria to prison for his crime sends an important message about reigning in excessive use of force,” Sari Bashi, Human Rights Watch’s Israeli and Palestinian advocacy director said.
36 Israelis have been killed in mostly stabbing and shooting incidents carried out by Palestinian assailants in the past 18 months. At least 244 Palestinians – including unarmed bystanders and demonstrators – have been killed by IDF forces in the same period, Palestinian rights groups claim.