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After filing appeal with court, three lawyers for IDF soldier Azaria quit

Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter for shooting dead a prone Palestinian assailant, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with a further 18 months suspended
DEBBIE HILL (POOL/AFP)
Defense team says ' it will be more beneficial for the soldier to turn to other channels'

The attorneys representing Israel Defense Forces soldier Elor Azaria, convicted of manslaughter after killing a subdued Palestinian terrorist, filed an appeal Wednesday with Israel's military court.

Last month Azaria was sentenced to 18 months in prison and demoted from sergeant to private.

According to Ynet news, Azaria's defense team are appealing his conviction and filing a motion to delay the date he has been ordered to report to begin serving his sentence.

Azaria has been ordered to begin serving his sentence on March 5th.

More details to be provided in a press conference Wednesday evening.

Shortly after the appeal was filed, three of the four attorneys representing Azaria resigned.

Attorneys Ilan Katz, Eyal Besserglick and Carmit Shchiver are leaving the defense team while attorney Yoram Sheftel will continue to represent Azaria.

In a statement they said that they "worked day and night" to achieve a "fantastic" result in an "impossible murder case."

JACK GUEZ (AFP)

"While we believe that the verdict is incorrect and detached from the evidence, we exhausted our maximum during the trial and believe it will be more beneficial for the soldier to turn to other channels," they added.

An Israeli military tribunal on January 4 found Azaria guilty of manslaughter, after he was caught on film in March shooting Abdel Fattah al-Sharif as he lay prone on the ground having been shot and injured after perpetrating a stabbing attack against Israeli soldiers.

The prosecution had requested an "appropriate sentence" of three to five years imprisonment for 21-year-old Azaria during sentencing hearings. The soldier's defense had hoped to avoid jail time and has indicated that they planned to appeal his conviction.

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