The Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a statement in which he has supported convicted soldier Sgt Elor Azaria and has unexpectedly called for his pardon for indiscriminately killing a Palestinian.
Convicted of manslaughter, a military court found Sgt Elor Azaria guilty of killing a Palestinian named Abdul Fatah Al Sharif, as he was laying wounded on the road.
The military court passed its judgment after it dismissed Azaria’s claim that the wounded man still posed a credible threat and that he suspected Sharif of wearing a suicide vest.
A video released soon after the incident showed that Azaria was standing some distance away from a wounded Sharif but then suddenly, Azaria is seen lifting his rifle and firing at the wounded man who posed no apparent threat to anyone near him.
The incident happened after Sharif was wounded and another Palestinian Ramzi Aziz Al Qasrawi was killed after they undertook an attack on an Israeli soldier, stabbing him. The Israeli forces subdued the tow attackers but Azari fired on the wounded man, whom the Israeli Defence Forces said, was not act that represented its values.
Public opinion has been extremely polarized in Israel over this issue as many politicians like Netanyahu have come out in support of Azaria and called for his pardon, but the Defense Force still carried out the judgment opposing public pressure.
The incident took place in West bank, a place against which a UN resolution was passed, condemning Israeli occupation and terming its settlements illegal. Problems persist in Israel over the issues of settlements in territories obtained after the Six Day War.