A military court in Israel Tuesday sentenced an Israeli soldier to 18 months in prison for killing a wounded Palestinian attacker last year in the West Bank.
Prosecutors had asked for a harsher sentence of between three and five years for Elor Azaria after he was convicted last month of manslaughter.
The shooting in the city of Hebron came to light when a video showed Azaria shooting 21-year-old Abdel-Fattah al-Sharif after he was on the ground and injured, following the stabbing of an Israeli soldier.
Azaria’s defense argued that he believed the assailant, though subdued, may have had a suicide explosive belt and posed a danger.
Chief Judge Maya Heller said during the sentencing that Azaria “took upon himself to be both judge and executioner.”
Reaction to the case was divided, with military officials criticizing Azaria’s actions but many in the public backing him. Both the announcement of Azaria’s conviction and Tuesday’s sentencing prompted protests outside the court in support of the soldier.
The shooting occurred during a wave of violence that started in October 2015. Since then, Palestinian attacks have killed 28 Israelis, while Israeli forces have killed about 200 Palestinians, most they say, were carrying out knife, gun or other attacks at the time.