Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter

Elor Azaria, 20, shot Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, in the head while he was lying immobile on a road.

A military court on Wednesday found his guilty, saying the soldier’s sentence would be handed down at a later date, BBC reported.

Azaria said he thought Sharif might have an explosive vest, but prosecutors said his motive was revenge.

In the incident on March 24, Sharif and another 21-year-old Palestinian, Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, allegedly stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier before troops opened fire on them, wounding Sharif and killing Qasrawi.

Footage of the scene several minutes later, filmed by a Palestinian and released by an Israeli rights group, shows Sharif alive.

Extremist Israelis have been protesting in support of the soldier ever since. During the Wednesday court session, hundreds of them gathered outside the courtroom at a military base in central Tel Aviv.

Hard-line Israeli politicians have also defended the soldier and his killing of the incapacitated Palestinian.

Palestinians, however, have been infuriated by the murder, with Palestinian officials having formerly asked a United Nations investigation into the killing, which they did not get.

The killing back in March last year came amid heightened tensions that began in the occupied territories in August 2015, when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Beit-ul-Moqaddas.

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