[JURIST] An Israeli soldier who killed a wounded Palestinian in the West Bank city of Hebron in March was been found guilty of manslaughter Wednesday. The three-judge military panel in Tel Aviv ruled against Sgt Elor Azaria. Chief judge Col Maya Heller gave a lengthy verdict reading in which the court ruled that accounts [Guardian report] of the incident that he had given were “unreliable and problematic.” The panel rejected the defense’s arguments. “We found there was no room to accept his arguments,” the Chief judge said. “His motive for shooting was that he felt the terrorist deserved to die.” Israeli politicians have called for Azaria to be pardone,d and this case has caused division among the Israeli population [WP report].
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been at the forefront of recent international news and reports. Human Rights Watch claimed [JURIST report] recently that some senior Israeli politicians are calling for Israeli soldiers and police to kill Palestinians whom they suspect of harming Israelis, even if the suspects are not currently dangerous. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned remarks [JURIST report] made by US Secretary of State John Kerry on the current Israeli government. In a speech given in December, Kerry criticized the building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, stating that such actions jeopardize prospects of peace in the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in December summoned the ambassadors of the 14 UN Security Council members [JURIST report] who supported a resolution condemning Israel’s settlement in Palestine to rebuke them for the vote. Following the passage of this resolution, Netanyahu also ordered the country’s foreign ministers to reevaluate Israel’s ties to the UN within the month.