Elor Azaria was set to be released May 10, but requested to be freed Tuesday to take part in brother’s wedding
Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter last year for shooting dead a disarmed Palestinian terrorist in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron in 2016, walked free from prison on Tuesday after serving just under two-thirds of his prison sentence.
Azaria’s 14-month prison sentence was slashed by a third in March, after a parole board accepted his plea for early release on account of good behavior. He was originally scheduled to be freed on Thursday May 10 — five months ahead of his October 2018 release date.
But Azaria asked to be released two days earlier so that he could attend his brother’s wedding on Wednesday, a request which was approved by military officials.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, commenting on Azaria’s release as he departed on a lightning visit to Cyprus, said he was glad the ordeal was over.
Netanyahu was among dozens of Israeli lawmakers and officials who publicly stated that they believe Azaria should be pardoned and his conviction overturned.