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Palestinian Government Condemns Early Release of Soldier Convicted of Killing Incapacitated Assailant

The Palestinian Authority has condemned the early release of Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter in the 2016 killing of a Palestinian who had already been subdued after attacking two soldiers. Azaria was sentenced to 18 months in prison but received a four-month reduction by order of army chief-of-staff Gadi Eisenkot. Despite the circumstances of the incident, the Palestinians from the start viewed it as an “extrajudicial execution.” On the Israeli side, the nation was divided: one camp viewing it sacrosanct to support the army in a country where all men and women are conscripted at the age of 18; while critics – including senior military officials – viewed it as a rule-of-law issue that superseded even loyalty to the army.