Israel releases soldier who killed injured Palestinian


A soldier who killed an injured Palestinian was released from custody and placed under house arrest on Thursday while he appeals his conviction, local media said.

A military court ruled on Monday that Elor Azaria would be released from custody when he completed his military service, the Times of Israel newspaper reported.

Azaria was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Abdul Fattah al-Sharif. He shot Sharif in the head, although he had been injured and disarmed after an alleged attack in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in March last year.

Since 2000, only eight Israeli soldiers have been convicted in investigations into killings, according to rights group Yesh Din. Azaria's lawyers have argued the law has been applied inconsistently because other soldiers in similar situations have not been convicted.

The case caused a rift within the Israeli government as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his most right-wing allies called for Azaria to be pardoned, while the army and then Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon insisted he be tried in court.

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