Elor Azaria Released From Prison


The former Israeli soldier convicted of shooting and killing an injured Palestinian assailant as he lay on the ground was released from prison after nine months.

Elor Azaria was initially sentenced to 18 months in prison for the killing of Abdul Fatah al-Sharif in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in March 2016. Azaria, the so-called "Hebron shooter", was found guilty previous year of killing Sharif, who several minutes earlier had attacked two IDF soldiers with a knife. He was greeted by supporters and banners welcoming his release.

On March 24, 2016, an Arab terrorist stabbed and wounded an IDF soldier stationed in Hebron. Education Minister Naftali Bennett said he was "very glad" Azaria was finally home.

Azaria, who has not expressed remorse for his actions, has steadfastly maintained that he shot Sharif because he believed he was armed with an explosive vest under his jacket.

It showed Sharif, 21, lying wounded on the ground, shot along with another Palestinian after allegedly stabbing and wounding a soldier.

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The shooting incident was caught on video by Btselem, an Israeli human rights group, and quickly spread online.

A short time later, IDF medic Elor Azaria shot the terrorist in the head.

Part of the story regarding Azaria's sentence has been that he was already given leniency by the original IDF Court that sentenced him, which said that his strong and clean prior record and the stress of the operational situation had led to a lighter sentence.

Azaria was welcomes by his family as a "hero" while Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu congratulated him on the release. They also pointed out that the soldier's sentence "is less than [what] a Palestinian child gets for throwing stones". He was released having served two thirds of his 14-month sentence, The Times of Israel reported.