Mr. Azaria and his lawyers argued that the sergeant believed that the assailant, Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, who was still moving slightly, might have been concealing an explosive belt under his jacket. But the killing was caught in chilling detail on video, and the court was not convinced.
“The unnecessary or disproportional use of a weapon is forbidden and immoral, is ineffective and even harmful,” the court president, Maj. Gen. Doron Piles, said, according to reporters in the court. “The I.D.F. is the organized military of a country that operates according to law,” he added, referring to the Israel Defense Forces. “Soldiers must not settle accounts with terrorists after the danger from them has passed.”
The Hebron shooting, which occurred in March 2016, prompted a furious debate over military ethics and the fate of Palestinian perpetrators, polarizing Israel, where most Jewish 18-year-olds are drafted for more than two years of compulsory service and the military is seen by many as an embodiment of the country’s values. The implications of the shooting and the trial are still reverberating through Israeli society.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at first condemned Mr. Azaria’s conduct. Then, apparently carried by the wave of public sympathy for the sergeant, he phoned his family to express solidarity. Mr. Netanyahu called for Mr. Azaria to be pardoned after the original verdict in January, and on Sunday said he would present his recommendation for a pardon if Mr. Azaria applies for one. Mr. Azaria has not expressed any remorse.
Mr. Azaria could try to pursue a further appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court.
But Israel’s hard-line defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, urged the Azaria family instead to request a pardon from the chief of staff of the military, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, “in order to bring this episode to an end as quickly as possible for the good of Elor, the family and Israel.”
General Eisenkot said Sunday that if Mr. Azaria chose to file a request to lighten his sentence, he would give it “careful consideration.”
Having spent most of the period since the shooting confined to his army base, Mr. Azaria was released to house arrest this month after completing his term of military service. Barring further delays, he is expected to begin his sentence in a military prison next month.
The episode occurred amid a deadly surge of Palestinian stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks that began in October 2015. In the months that followed, several prominent Israeli politicians declared that Palestinian perpetrators should not emerge alive from such attacks, which liberal critics said amounted to a shoot-to-kill policy.
After Mr. Azaria was charged with manslaughter and put on trial, his supporters denounced what they called the “Azaria effect,” accusing the army of making its soldiers too soft and hesitant to act.
Those accusations resurfaced after the terrorist attack that killed three members of the Salomon family who had gathered for a festive Sabbath meal in the settlement of Halamish on July 21. The Palestinian assailant, Omar al-Abed, 19, was treated in an Israeli hospital and is now in custody. Rachel Maoz, the mother of the off-duty soldier who shot him through the window, denounced his critics.
“There are all sorts of stupid people who say, ‘Why didn’t you finish him off?’” she told Army Radio. “At that very moment, running into the house and putting a bullet in his head would have been another incident like Elor Azaria, and we don’t do things like that. We are not murderers. We just defend.”
Mr. Netanyahu has joined the call of several politicians for perpetrators like Mr. Abed to face the death penalty. The Israeli military courts operating in the West Bank have the death penalty on their books but have not used it. Experts note that it would not be effective as a deterrent, and may only spur more violence, since many Palestinian attackers, like Mr. Abed, set out seeking death as a “shahid,” or martyr, and do not expect to survive.
One populist legislator from Mr. Netanyahu’s conservative Likud Party, Oren Hazan, went further after the Halamish attack, saying in a video posted on his Facebook page on July 22 that it was time to start deporting Palestinian perpetrators’ families. If it were up to him, Mr. Hazan added, he would have gone to the village the night of the attack and executed the killer along with his entire family.