Wounded Palestinian killed by Israeli soldier buried

GMT 07:17 2016 Sunday ,29 May

Arab Today, arab today Wounded Palestinian killed by Israeli soldier buried

Relatives and friends chant slogans during the funeral of Abdul Fatah al-Sharif
Hebron - Arab Today

A Palestinian assailant killed by an Israeli soldier as he lay wounded was buried Saturday in the occupied West Bank, a day after Israel returned his body to his family.

Dozens of mourners gathered at a cemetery in the city of Hebron, where Abdul Fattah al-Sherif, 21, was shot in the head by a soldier in March after stabbing and moderately wounding another soldier.

A widely circulated video of the March 24 shooting showed Sherif lying on the ground along with another man after being shot and wounded after the stabbing.

The soldier who killed him, Elor Azaria, has been charged with manslaughter for shooting Sherif. His trial began on May 9.

The 19-year-old also faces charges of conduct unbecoming before the military court in Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv.

Azaria, who also holds French citizenship, was not present during Sharif's attack but in the footage he is seen appearing later and shooting him in the head without any apparent provocation.

His lawyers argued that he thought the Palestinian had been wearing explosives.

On Saturday, Sherif's father Yusri, 43, demanded that "a fair sentence" be handed down against Azaria.

"The Israelis must judge their own just as they judge the Palestinians," he told AFP.

"Imagine if it was the other way around, that a Palestinian had killed someone. They would sentence him to life," he added.

Azaria's case has deeply divided Israeli public opinion.

The military top brass condemned his actions, but rightwing politicians have argued that he has been unfairly treated. Last month protesters held a rally in his support.

Israel's internal security minister on Tuesday ordered police to stop handing over for burial the bodies of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks, defying a supreme court recommendation.

In February, Gilad Erdan's ministry laid down conditions for the handover of bodies of attackers from Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

Bereaved families would have to commit to burying their relatives at night, with a maximum of 40 mourners, and not allow funerals to become Palestinian nationalist demonstrations.

Sherif's father said the family was contacted by Israeli authorities "who proposed we take back his body under certain conditions.

"We wanted him back without any conditions. We wanted to bury him like any other martyr."

An upsurge in violence since October has killed 205 Palestinians and 28 Israelis. Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, Israeli authorities say.

Source :AFP

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