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Palestinian protesters receive harsher sentences than Israeli murderers

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth on 23 October 2010 [Najeh Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth on 23 October 2010 [Najeh Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Elor Azaria, an Israeli solider who murdered a Palestinian in cold blood, just had his already-derisory sentence reduced by the army chief of staff.

Azaria become a hero to many in Israel after the incident last year at an illegal Israeli checkpoint in Hebron, a city in the occupied West Bank.

Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif and Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, both 21, were shot dead by Israeli soldiers in March last year. The Israeli government accused them stabbing and moderately wounding a soldier in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood of Hebron’s Old City.

Azaria was caught on camera as he calmly and deliberately shot al-Sharif in the head as the youth lay badly wounded and completely subdued on the ground.

Settlers look on as Israeli forces evacuate the body of Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif, killed by Israeli army medic Elor Azaria in Hebron , Israel on March 24 2016 [file photo]

Settlers look on as Israeli forces evacuate the body of Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif, killed by Israeli army medic Elor Azaria in Hebron , Israel on March 24 2016 [file photo]

During the trial, Azaria was offered support from the highest political levels, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling for him to be pardoned altogether.

In February this year Azaria was sentenced to a derisory 18 months in prison.

If Palestinian lives were deemed of any value at in in Israel, Azaria would have been given life in prison. Instead he was given a slap on the wrist. And now, his sentence has been reduced on military order to 14 months.

After this has been reduced by another six months, as seems likely, for “good behaviour,” Azaria will likely spend no more than eight months in jail. Little illustrates the apartheid nature of Israeli “justice” better than this.

By way of contrast, 21-year-old Ahmad Yasser Baraghithi was in 2014 sentenced to eight years in jail for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem during Palestinian protests against Israeli occupation. That’s eight years, not the token eight months the killer Azaria seems likely to serve.

The fact that Azaria will serve any time in jail at all is only down to the brave Palestinian volunteer who filmed the graphic video of Azaria calmly butchering al-Sharif. Israeli settlers on the scene are heard in the video shouting, “the terrorist is still alive,” and the “the dog is still alive.”

During the trial, the court heard that what Azaria did was very much routine practice by the Israeli army, who murder Palestinians in the West Bank on a routine basis.

“In terrorist incidents I witnessed, I saw with my own eyes that in every instance in which a terrorist attacked, soldiers shot him in the centre of mass until he was neutralized … and [shot] a bullet to the head to ensure that the terrorist could not set off a suicide belt or continue the attack. These soldiers never went to court,” a long-time civilian security chief for Jewish settlers in Hebron, told the court.

The Palestinians who filmed the video and gave it to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem have received death threats for exposing the crime.

Many other Palestinians spend far longer in jail than Azaria, often for “crimes” that amount to nothing more than simply speaking out against Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

Palestinian poet and photographer Dareen Tatour spent more than a year and three months in jail and house arrest for the “crime” of writing a poem entitled “Resist, my people, resist them.” The poem called on Palestinians to fight back against Israeli occupation, to “Resist the colonialist’s onslaught” and “Pay no mind to his agents among us.” Israel has a long history of criminalizing such literary expression of the Palestinian liberation struggle.

Lina Khattab is a young Palestinian who in 2014 and 2015 spent almost as much time in jail as Azaria seems likely to now. Her “crime” was to dance at a protest against Israeli occupation, which they had deemed an “illegal demonstration.” Pretty much any demonstration Palestinians organize against occupation in the West Bank is deemed “illegal” by Israel, which likes to portray a thin veneer of legality for its sponsors and political allies in the West.

Israel’s “military courts” are sham show trials which have no credibility whatsoever when it comes to Palestinian accused. Judges and prosecutors alike are all Israeli soldiers, and we are supposed to buy the Israeli propaganda which claims that this fix of a system will hold the occupation authorities to account? No.

Israel’s kangaroo courts system has a 99.7 per cent conviction rate – for Palestinians alone. This is yet another cold hard fact which makes Israel’s system in the occupied West Bank a racist one – a systematic apartheid reality, backed to the hilt by the US and the EU.

ArticleInquiryIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestine
  • Vinegar Hill

    This is par for the course for non-democratic rogue states such as Israel. They are the illegal occupiers of the West Bank where this crime took place but because the murderer was Jewish Israeli he was leniently dealt with. On the other hand if an indigenous palestinian child throws a stone at an armoured Israel tank they will be snt to prison for years.

    Israel has become a ceespool in the Middle East filled with the dregs of society.

    • peepsqueek

      If you want balance in the Middle East– What is the sentence for apostasy and blasphemy? What is the penalty from protesting the government in Islamic Countries? What is the sentence for throwing rocks at the authorities in the holiest City of Mecca? What is the sentence for honor killings of a family member who had sexual relations outside the confines of marriage?

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        Before the ZioNazi thugs out of Europe assaulted the Christians and Muslims of Palestine, there was none this going on there. This is just another clumsy attempt by a ZioNazi invader to excuse the massive ZioNazi criminality in Palestine.

        • peepsqueek

          After four hundreds of Ottoman Turkish Islamic Empire, for most of the Middle East, long before the State of Israel, the declaration of independent states triggered intense competition for power in the new entities. Sunnis and Shias, cities and tribes, sheiks and tribesmen, Assyrians and Kurds, pan-Arabists and Jewish nationalists–all fought for places in the so-called freed states. Today they are all called Arab and Islamic States and one tiny Jewish State (less than 1% of the Middle East land mass). Your only ambition is to have the banner of Islam fly over 100% of the Middle East land mass. We get it!

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Why did you evil ZioNazi land grabbing thugs out of Europe assault the Palestinian Christians as ferociously as you did the Muslim ones?

          • peepsqueek

            If you understand history, Jews fought for a tiny homeland close to the birthplace of their biblical prophets and holiest City, You might ask why no Christian Arab has access to citizenship in Arabia, and no non-Muslim can even enter their holiest City in the 21st Century?

            Assyrian International News Agency (AINA}:
”Keep in mind that these Christian minorities, the Assyrians, Armenians, Copts, are actually the original inhabitants of these areas with roots going back thousands of years before Christianity. What we’re seeing is a systematic attempt to cleanse the Middle East of its original inhabitants, this is a continuation of the genocide that took place in Ottoman Turkey in 1915.”

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            History is clear that the evil ZioNazi thugs out of Europe savagely assaulted the people of Palestine with vast floods of atrocities and terror, such as these…

            Over 750,000 people (~80%) driven off their ancestral lands

            Over 500 Arab villages and towns BULLDOZED and buried under pine forests

          • peepsqueek

            Most of it was during the confines of war which were initiated by Arabs. I hope you are not implying that 80% Arabs are not living on Arab land today. There are more Arabs living in Israel proper today than all the Jews living in all the Islamic Countries put together.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            You are lying very stupidly again. The evil ZioNazi thugs out of Europe have been on the attack ever since they first defiled Palestine with their unwanted criminal feet.

            The Butchery Begins: Deir Yasin

            The process was one of sustained slaughter as village after village was wiped out. The killing was intended to cause people to flee for their lives.

            The commander of the Haganah, Zvi Ankori, described what happened: “I saw cut off genitalia and women’s crushed stomachs … It was direct murder.” [52]

            Menachem Begin gloated over the impact throughout Palestine of the Nazi-like operations he commanded at Deir Yasin. Lehi and IZL Commandos stormed the village of Deir Yasin on April 9, 1948, slaughtering 254 men, women and children.

            A legend of terror spread amongst Arabs who were seized with panic at the mention of our Irgun soldiers. It was worth half a dozen battalions to the forces of Israel. Arabs throughout the country … were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede. Of the 800,000 Arabs who lived on the present territory of the state of Israel, only some 165,000 are still there. The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be overestimated. [53]

            The implementation of this program was carried out in part by Menachem Begin and in part by his future successor as Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, as military commanders of the Irgun and the Lohamei Herut Israel (Lehi), i.e., Fighters for the Freedom of Israel. Inhabitants were force marched in blood-soaked clothing through the streets of Jerusalem to jeering on-lookers, before disappearing.


          • peepsqueek

            Again, Deir Yasin was during the confines of war, Deir Yasin was on the high ground and Jews below were easy targets. Neither you or I was there, so don’t be so sure of something that you are not sure of.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Caught you, liar! The utterly evil invader ZioNazi thugs had been the cause of the war for nearly a decade.

            Who started the 1947 War?

            Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won
            Middle East – Tom Suarez on January 1, 2017

            From the beginning of World War II through to the summer of 1947, there were virtually no Palestinian attacks, even though Zionist terror against Palestinians continued. A British explanation for the Palestinians’ failure to respond in kind was that they understood that the attacks were a trap, intended to elicit a response that the Zionists would frame as an attack against which they would have to ‘defend’ themselves. This was a Zionist tactic noted by the British as early as 1918, and it remains Israel’s default strategy today, most blatantly in Gaza, but also in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

            As late as the fall of 1947, the Jewish Agency was concerned by the Palestinians’ failure to respond to its provocation, but when the end of 1947 came and the Jewish Agency could wait no longer for the civil war it needed, it was simply a matter of ratcheting up the terror


          • peepsqueek

            Only a few years earlier, Jews were being slaughtered in Europe to the tune of six million and millions more made homeless, to which you probably cheered. Don’t attempt to tell the reader’s that they had a Country or a viable army to take on a half dozen Arab Countries.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            You are a liar many times over. Where is your proof of the Holohoax? It has been exploded.

            It’s Really The Other Way Around ?
            Brother Nathanael
            Published on Sep 28, 2017

          • peepsqueek

            Der Spiegel, April 19, 2006 03:28 PM

            “For years, the United States, France, Poland and a number of other countries have been trying to convince Germany to consent to the opening of the so-called “Holocaust Archives” stored in the north-central German town of Bad Arolsen. Citing privacy concerns and fears of lawsuits, however, the German government had consistently refused. The 30 to 50 million documents — compiled by the Nazis during World War II and outlining the personal fates of 17 million Holocaust and forced labor victims — remained off limits to scholars and historians.”

            “But on Tuesday, Germany changed its mind. At a press conference at the US Holocaust Museum, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said that Berlin would work with Washington to make the archives public. A number of details remain to be worked out, but Zypries said the process should not take more than six months.”

            Jews have put together a list of 6 million who were Jewish, they have their pictures, and the testimonies of thousands of survivors.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            So what? We know that the ZioNazi Holohoax is already exploded, and you can’t prove otherwise. It’s so funny! Fire pits on top of a swamp, nonexistent gas chambers, jerks testifying that the Zyklon B made black and blue corpses, it goes on and on!

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Jew Exposes Auschwitz Lies
            Veritas Vincit Omnia

            Zyklon B and Gas Chambers
            by Arthur R. Butz

            Become a Holocaust Denier in 14 Minutes
            Truth Be Told

            The greatest lie ever told – The Holocaust – 2015 Documentary HD

            Ernst Zündel, the collapse of the Jewish Holocaust lie

          • peepsqueek

            Do you have an reputable sources?

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            In other words, you can’t disprove any of the ones already given. You have no sources that can stand examination. Funny!

          • peepsqueek

            Merkel Acknowledges Germany’s ‘Shame’ at Holocaust
            By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press | March 18, 2008

            JERUSALEM — Chancellor Merkel of Germany told Israel’s parliament today that her countrymen are “filled with shame” over the Holocaust and that she bows before the victims of the Nazi genocide.

            In an emotional speech delivered in German, Ms. Merkel said her country will always be committed to Israel’s security, particularly in light of growing threats from Iran. Prime Minister Olmert of Israel and other leaders have repeatedly appealed for Germany’s help in halting Iran’s nuclear program.

            Ms. Merkel’s address capped a three-day visit to Israel to mark the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding. Israel pulled out all the stops for Ms. Merkel, a staunch ally, raising the German flag over its parliament in a red carpet ceremony that drove home the two nations’ growing alliance six decades after the Holocaust. At the end of Ms. Merkel’s 20-minute speech, delivered in German, legislators gave her a standing ovation.

            Lawmakers made special allowances for Ms. Merkel to address them, even though she’s not a head of state. A handful of the 120 lawmakers stayed away, including one who said he could not bear to hear the language spoken by the murderers of his grandparents.

            Yesterday Israeli and German Cabinet ministers held a historic joint session, a first for Israel, and the two nations approved a series of cooperative projects. Germany already is Israel’s second-largest trade partner, after America, and since the two nations formed diplomatic relations in 1965, Germany has paid $39.4 billion to Holocaust survivors in Israel.

            Ms. Merkel opened her speech with a Hebrew sentence, thanking the parliament for giving her the “great honor” of addressing them in German. She immediately paid tribute to those killed by Nazi Germany during World War II.

            “The mass murder of six million Jews, carried out in the name of Germany, has brought indescribable suffering to the Jewish people, Europe and the entire world,” she said.

            “The Shoah fills us Germans with shame. I bow before the victims. I bow before the survivors and before all those who helped them survive,” she said, using the Hebrew word for Holocaust.

            About 1,000 guests listened to Ms. Merkel, including Holocaust survivors, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious leaders, former Israeli presidents and residents of Israeli towns targeted by rocket fire from Gaza. The Israeli public has largely responded with indifference to Merkel’s visit.

            Over the years, German leaders have avoided criticizing Israel in public, even when others took the Jewish state to task for some of its policies toward the Palestinians. Yesterday, Ms. Merkel would not be drawn into criticism over Israel’s continued settlement expansion, even as Mr. Olmert, standing by her side, announced that construction would not stop.

            Ms. Merkel grew up in former East Germany, the daughter of a pastor. In her speech, she referred to her former country’s refusal to take responsibility for the Holocaust; until unification in 1990, that task was shouldered by West Germany alone.

            She said Communist East Germany considered the Nazi past as a West German problem. “It took 40 years until the entire Germany … acknowledged its responsibility for history and for the state of Israel,” she said.

            Introducing Ms. Merkel, Israeli leaders repeatedly called on Germany never to forget the victims of the Holocaust, and appealed to her to do everything she could to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

            Israel believes Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, a fear underscored by Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s frequent calls for Israel to disappear. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

            Mr. Olmert praised Ms. Merkel’s “strong and determined position against the horrific calls from the president of Iran to wipe Israel off the map and against Tehran’s trickery and deceit,” he said.

            Ms. Merkel said Germany would always stand by Israel, and that Germany must speak out against racism and anti-Semitism. She promised to be vigilant about Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel and the West believe is intended to produce weapons.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Silly boy, Merkel’s stupidly corrupt speech has not an ounce of evidence in it. Your presenting it constitutes an admission that you have no evidence to present and are a Holohoax Denier. Shame on you and the fraud, Elie Wiesel!

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Of course, the evil ZioNazi invader thugs had a trained army. The British trained them, while disarming the Arabs.

            The Zionists as Police Enforcers

            It was at this point that the British began to rely on the Zionists who provided them with a unique resource they had never tapped in any of their colonies: a local force which had made common cause with British colonialism and was highly mobilized against the indigenous population. If before this the Zionists had handled many of the tasks of reprisal, they now played a larger role in the escalated repression which was to include mass arrests, assassinations and executions. In 1938, 5,000 Palestinians were imprisoned, of whom 2,000 were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment; 148 people were executed by hanging and over 5,000 homes were demolished. [34]

            Zionist forces were integrated with British intelligence and became the police enforcers of draconian British rule. A “quasi-police force” was established to provide cover for the armed Zionist presence encouraged by the British. There were 2,863 recruits to the quasi-police force, 12,000 men were organized in the Haganah, and 3,000 in Jabotinsky’s National Military Organization (Irgun). [35] In the summer of 1937 the quasi-police force was named the “Defense of the Jewish Colonies”, and later the “Colony Police”.

            Ben Gurion called the quasi-police force an ideal “framework” for the training of the Haganah. Charles Orde Wingate, the British officer in charge, was, in essence, the founder of the Israeli army. He trained such figures as Moshe Dayan in terrorism and assassination.

            By 1939, Zionist forces working with the British rose to 14,411 organized into ten well-armed groups of Colony Police, each commanded by a British officer, with an official of the Jewish Agency as second in command. By the spring of 1939, the Zionist force included sixty-three mechanized units, each consisting of eight to ten men.


            Funny, then the evil ZioNazi thugs assaulted the British who had trained them.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            The Amazon Book Burning
            Brother Nathanael
            Published on Mar 25, 2017

          • dutchnational

            What can one say when you are right?

          • peepsqueek

            They are just questions and quotes, but you know I am not going to get an academic answer.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            How does any of that excuse the multitudinous crimes of the European ZioNazi thugs invading Palestine?

    • dutchnational

      What is a ceespool? Ritual bath for unbelievers?

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        Nope, a ZioNazi mind, very much like the one you lug clumsily around.

  • David Grant

    I agree with Vinegar Hill on his general point about the general hypocrisy of the legal treatment of Palestinians and Israelis. For those who continue to defend Israel and use other dictatorships as you basis, you use a pretty low bar to compare Israel’s behavioral on these matters and I can’t imagine if these other countries were to use the same reasoning that you would find it acceptable. If you tried that reasoning in your personal lives, you would find that it wouldn’t be tolerated.

  • dutchnational

    Israel should consider using sharia, as protestors seem to want, to punish those protestors.

    They might like that better?

  • Fasdunkle

    “If Palestinian lives were deemed of any value”

    The problem is that many “palestinians” don’t think “palestinian” lives are of any value – they think being killed while murdering or trying to murder Jews is the purpose of a life. This propaganda site also believes that, calling them “martyrs”

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    I ♥ Israel

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    I apologise for my racist and bigoted holocaust denial and anti Israel comments below. I’m out of work and have a drinking problem and when I drink too much I get a little crazy…