Israeli soldier jailed for 18 months for killing Palestinian

Sgt Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter last month

Israeli soldier jailed for 18 months for killing Palestinian

File photo. Israeli solider, Sgt. Elor Azaria, sits inside an Israeli military court in Tel Aviv, Israel. Picture by Ariel Schalit AP/Press Association Images

An Israeli soldier who shot dead a wounded Palestinian attacker as he was lying on the floor has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Sgt Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter last month after he was filmed killing the Abdul Fattah al-Sharif in the West Bank city of Hebron.

At the time, al-Sharif was lying wounded on the ground after being shot by other soldiers while he carried out a stabbing attack.

Footage of the incident appeared to show the Palestinian motionless.

Claims from Azaria’s lawyers that he shot al-Sharif because he believed the man was wearing an explosive vest were firmly rejected by the court.

The soldier had faced up to 20 years in prison.

The verdict has proven divisive in Israel, with many nationalists expressing their support for Azaria. 

Following the ruling last month, hundreds of demonstrators near the courtroom in Tel Aviv blocked a road and clashed with police.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu had indicated he would support a pardon for Azaria.

Shortly after the verdict, Netanyahu said: "This is a difficult and painful day - first and foremost for Elor, his family, Israel's soldiers, many citizens and parents of soldiers, among them me.

"I support granting a pardon to Elor Azaria," he added.