Israeli soldier in jail for killing Palestinian gets sentence slashed by one third

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-19 21:31:30|Editor: Lifang
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JERUSALEM, March 19 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli military parole committee on Monday granted an early release to a high-profile soldier who shot dead an incapacitated Palestinian, cutting a third of his 14-month prison time.

The military said on Twitter that under the decision of the parole committee, Sgt. Elor Azaria could walk free on May 10, ten months after he began serving his sentence.

The decision was made following a request of Azaria's lawyers last week to cut his prison term by half. The military prosecution objected the request but told the committee that it would not object to cut a third of Azaria's imprisonment.

On March 24, 2016, Azaria was a 19-year-old military medic in the West Bank city of Hebron when Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, 21, and Ramzi Aziz al-Qasarwi carried out a knife attack, lightly injuring a soldier.

Troops shot dead al-Qasarwi and gravely wounded al-Sharif. Al-Sharif was lying on the ground, motionless, when Azaria arrived at the scene and shot a single bullet to his head.

The deadly shooting was caught on a video by a human rights organization and spread widely on social networks.

In 2017, a military court in Tel Aviv found Azaria guilty of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail, of which he had to serve only 14 months after Israel's Chief of Staff Gadi Eiznkot slashed his punishment by four months.

Azaria's case divided the nation, with many, including political leaders, hailing him as a hero who was unjustly punished.