This is important, because it’s the first time in ten years that the Israelis have issued the charge in a killing that took place during field operations. According to Haaretz, Elor Azraya is being charged in the death of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif on a street in Hebron. In a report here on the shooting, I showed frame-by-frame how Sergeant Azraya raised his weapon and executed al-Sharif as the Palestinian, barely conscious, lay bleeding on the street.
Haaretz reported that “Sgt E,” as they referenced Azraya, was heard prior to the shooting to say that al-Sharif “deserved to die” for taking part in the stabbing of another IDF soldier.
The shooting by Sgt. E. was filmed by a volunteer with the human rights group B’Tselem, and the film made wide rounds on social and mainstream media. The pathology report later confirmed that it was Sgt. E.’s shot caused Sharif’s death …
The killing lit a political firestorm with many Israelis hailing Azraya a hero. A major rally in his defense is scheduled for today.
A report from the Chinese news service Xinhua contains quotes from the indictment:
“The soldier took several steps towards the terrorist, aimed at his head and fired a single bullet from short range,” according to the indictment.
“The defendant did this in contradiction with the rules of engagement and without operational justification,” the indictment added.
Initially, the prosecutors said the 19-year-old soldier was investigated for murder, but they later changed that to manslaughter.
This case is one of the most egregious examples of extrajudicial execution ever caught on tape, and the Israeli government is acting according. An indictment, however, is a long way from an execution.