Court rejects appeal against IDF soldier's manslaughter conviction for killing terrorist

Appeals court rejects Elor Azaria's version of events over shooting of terrorist as 'not credible'


Israel's Military Court of Appeals has rejected the appeal of Elor Azaria against his manslaughter conviction for killing an injured Palestininan attacker during his IDF service in Hebron.

Earlier this year, Azaria was sentenced to 18 months for shooting dead Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, in Hebron in March 2016. It was said Azaria had told a colleague that al-Sharif - who had stabbed another soldier - "deserved to die".

Legal representatives for Azaria, who appeared in court for the first time as a civilian, questioned the testimonies of key witnesses, company commander Major Tom Na'aman and soldier Cpl T. They also claimed soldiers and police officers in similar situations had not faced prosecution.

Major-General Doron Piles, president of the Military Appeals Court, rejected the claims, saying that no witness had motive to falsely accuse Azaria.

However it did find that Major Na'aman "gave completely different versions [of his testimony to the CID and the court]. His explanations raise questions."

But Azaria's version of events was "not credible".

The court also said the defence team had failed to prove that the immediate condemnation of the shooting by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot influenced the judicial process.

It supported the original finding that there was no justification for the shooting of the terrorist.

The case has divided opinion in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said he would support a decision to pardon Azaria.



Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive