The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Israeli soldier Elor Azaria returns to Hebron for first time since 2016 Palestinian killing Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israeli soldier Elor Azaria returns to Hebron for first time since 2016 Palestinian killing

Azaria received a hero's welcome from hard-line Jewish settlers in Hebron. [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 July, 2018

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Azaria, who was released in May after serving a nine-month sentence for the 2016 killing of a Palestinian, received a hero’s welcome from hard-line Israeli settlers in the city.

A former Israeli soldier briefly jailed for shooting dead an incapacitated Palestinian in Hebron in 2016, has returned to the city for the first time since the killing, in a visit likely to stoke tensions in the occupied West Bank.

Elor Azaria was released in May after serving a nine-month sentence for the killing, and received a hero's welcome from hard-line Israeli settlers in Hebron. The religious hardliners chanter: "Elor Azaria, we wanted you to know, how much we love you in Hebron".

Draped in an Israeli flag, Azaria posed to take selfies with settlers, who had lined the streets of Hebron to welcome him.

The 2016 killing of the injured Palestinian Abdul Fattah al-Sharif sparked international outrage, and Azaria's trial highlighted deep divisions in Israeli public opinion - between those who denounced the shooting and others who said it was justified.

The shooting was caught on video by a human rights group and showed Sharif, 21, lying wounded on the ground along with another Palestinian after stabbing and lightly wounding a soldier.

Some 11 minutes after the initial shooting, Azaria, a sergeant and military medic at the time, shot him in the head without any apparent provocation.

Senior Israeli army officers strongly denounced Azaria's actions, but right-wing politicians - including Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu - called for him to be pardoned.

After refusing to pardon the soldier, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin received a torrent of online abuse calling him a traitor.

Around 600 hardline Israeli settlers live in the heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron, guarded by more than 1,000 Israeli soldiers.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More