After sentencing, slain Palestinian's family says soldier's trial was sham
HAZEM BADER (AFP)
The family of a slain Palestinian attacker said on Tuesday that the 18-month sentence imposed on Israeli soldier Elor Azaria was woefully inadequate and evidence of a legal double standard.
Family spokesman Abu Tariq said the family had expected a light sentence, claiming that there were "many and clear examples" of Israeli "field executions" after an Israeli military court sentenced Elor Azaria for the killing of Abdul Fatah al-Sharif in the West Bank in March 2016.
"It's a sham court in the full sense of the word," he said, noting that the verdict was also criticized by some in Israel.
Abdel Fattah al-Sharif's father, Yusri, said that "if one of us killed an animal, he would be imprisoned for longer and receive greater fines."
Yusri said the trial and sentencing was nothing but a show. "But we are better than them, we are Muslims, praise be to Allah," he said.
Azaria's family didn't react in court as the sentence was passed down but Sharif's father in the southern West Bank called the trial a "farce."
"A year and a half is a farce," Yusri told journalists at their family home near Hebron in the southern West Bank.
"What does a year and a half mean? Was he an animal to be killed like this, in this barbaric way?"
"We are not surprised, from the onset we knew this was a show trial that will not do us justice. Even though the soldier was caught on video and it is clear that this is a cold blooded execution, he was convicted only of manslaughter, not murder, and the prosecution asked for only a light sentence of three years," al-Sharif is quoted as saying by Ha'aretz.
"The sentence he received is less than a Palestinian child gets for throwing stones."
Meanwhile, a Palestinian government spokesman said the sentencing was a "green light" for the military's "crimes."
"The Palestinian government views this light ruling against the murderer soldier as a green light to the occupation army to continue its crimes," spokesman Tarek Rishmawi told AFP.
Many Palestinians often complain that Israel doesn’t prosecute crimes committed by its own soldiers readily enough.
The last manslaughter conviction against an Israeli soldier came 12 years ago.
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Let's not forget that the victim was a coward terrorist that had the intention of killing as much people as he could. Is a real shame that the media would even give his family a platform to air their opinions. Naturally they would say it's a farce! What else would they say we're sorry our son is a terrorist and got what he deserved. If Azaria did get a life sentence they most likely would of said that he should of gotten the death sentence. This trial is not a farce. Azarias actions were not lawful and as a result he is being punished. One thing to remember Azria is not a killer nor is he a danger to society unlike the cold blooded terrorist that he shot dead.