Court to sentence soldier in high-profile manslaughter case

Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter last month, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Elor Azaria in court

This is a case that has divided the entire nation.

The prosecution last month requested a sentence of three to five years, Israeli media reported.

Azaria was found guilty of shooting 21-year-old Fatah al-Sharif as he lay overpowered on the ground after al-Sharif and another Palestinian were shot during a stabbing attack at a West Bank checkpoint.

The incident was filmed by activists for the Israeli B’Tselem human rights group. In the video, Azaria is seen raising and aiming his rifle, then a shot is heard.

Al-Sharif’s head jolts, and he can then be seen with what seems to be a fresh head wound as blood trickles down the street.

The 21-year-old Azaria claimed that he believed al-Sharif had been wearing a bomb belt at the time of the shooting.

The military court in Tel Aviv, which is scheduled to issue the sentence at noon (1000 GMT), criticised Azaria’s testimony as “evolving and evasive’’ while handing down his guilty conviction.

Protesters supporting Azaria were expected to gather outside the Tel Aviv court.

Several demonstrators were arrested after hundreds of demonstrators became rowdy following his guilty verdict.

The case has split Israel, where military service is compulsory, and raised questions about rules of engagement towards perceived threats by Palestinians.

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