Israeli Sniper Gets One-Month Sentence for Killing Gaza Teenager

An Israeli soldier has been sentenced to one month in prison after being convicted by a military court on Monday of killing a Palestinian teenager during mass demonstrations in Gaza last year.

At least 305 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since the protests began, in March 2018.

Monday’s ruling is the first conviction of an Israeli soldier over the death of Palestinian protesters since demonstrations began in March 2018.

The sniper, whose name has been withheld, was found guilty of disobeying an order and will serve one month of military-related labor as well as a demotion to the rank of private and put on probation, The Times of Israel reported.

Othman Hilles, 15, was shot dead as he climbed the Israeli-built security barrier surrounding the Gaza Strip on July 13, 2018.

The Israeli sniper opened fire without obtaining permission from his commanders while not following the rules of engagement or the instructions given to him earlier, the Israeli army said in a statement.

The Gaza health ministry said the teenager was shot in the chest.

Video footage of the incident shows that the 15-year-old posed no direct or mortal threat at the time he was shot.

At the time, the Israeli army claimed Helles was trying to enter Israel.

Israel has come under widespread criticism for its use of live fire against unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza.

Earlier this year, the United Nations said there was evidence that Israel committed crimes against humanity in responding to the protests.

Israeli snipers have targeted people clearly identifiable as children, health workers and journalists.

Source: Palestine Chronicle