An Israeli military courtinfo-icon convicted an Israeli soldier, Elor Azaria, of manslaughter Wednesday in the fatal shooting of a wounded Palestinian knife attack suspect last March.

The Palestinian man, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, 21, was one of two men accused of stabbing another Israeli soldier in Hebron, in the West Bank, a few minutes earlier.

Charges were brought after video footage emerged showing Azaria shooting al-Sharif in the head as he lay on the ground, injured and already subdued.

The second Palestinian suspect had already been shot dead.

The case has divided opinion among the Israeli public, politicians and members of the military and focused attention on the military's code of ethics.

Hundreds of supporters protested on Azaria's behalf outside the Tel Aviv courtroom where the trial was held, and senior politicians have called for him to be pardoned.

But the leadership of the Israeli military said that it would respect the verdict even if it didn't like it.

Sgt. Azaria was serving in Hebron, a majority Palestinian area in the West Bank, when he shot al-Sharif, who was a suspect in the knife attack. The Israeli soldier suffered a minor injury.

According to the Israelinfo-icon Defense Forces, Azaria arrived at the scene about 11 minutes after the attack, put one bullet in his rifle and shot al-Sharif in the head, killing him.

Azaria denied the charges against him.

But the three-member panel of military judges was unanimous in finding him guilty of manslaughter and improper conduct.

At the heart of the case was the motivation for the soldier's actions. Azaria's defense argued that he felt his life was in danger, while the prosecution contended that he was motivated by malice and vengeance.

In a lengthy explanation before the verdict was delivered, the judges rejected all the defense arguments.

The head judge, Col. Maya Heller, said that Azaria was an "unreliable" witness and that his defense witnesses were also problematic. She called the shooting "needless."

Azaria's lawyers have promised to appeal the conviction.

About 50 people packed Courtroom A inside the heavily guarded Ministry of Defense as they waited for the verdict to be read.

On one side of the aisle sat Azaria's family. On the other side sat the media. Four members of the prosecution, dressed in uniform, waited across from four members of the Azaria's defense team, dressed in suits.

As Azaria waited, members of his family gave him reassuring hugs and pats on the back. His mother held him tightly.

There were emotional scenes when the verdict was finally announced. After the judges walked out, Azaria's mother screamed, "You should be ashamed of yourselves."