Israeli army chief commutes Elor Azarya's sentence by 4 months
Israeli news daily Haaretz said that, assuming Azarya gets one-third of his sentence off for good behavior, he could be released as early as March 30, 2018. If not, he would serve until September 30, 2018.
Azarya was sentenced to 18 months in prison for committing the filmed, close-range shooting of 21-year-old Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif, as the disarmed Palestinian lay immobile on the ground after allegedly committing a stabbing attack.
The Israeli military appeals court later rejected the appeal of his conviction as well as the severity for his sentence.
In August, Azarya's defense team requested that Azarya's prison sentence be postponed until Eisenkot ruled on whether to reduce Azarya's sentence, but the request was also rejected by the military court of appeals.
Now, Eisenkot has formally ruled to commute Azarya's sentence by four months.
Eisenkot's decision goes against the position of the Israeli army prosecution that had wanted a three to five year prison sentence at trial and no reduced sentence by the Israeli army chief.
The military advocate general, Gen. Sharon Afek, also reportedly submitted a document to Eisenkot expressing his absolute opposition to reducing Azarya's sentence under the current circumstances.
Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post wrote that: "(Eisenkot) said that his decision in no way took away from his staunch disapproval of Azarya's actions, but that given that a clear message was sent to all soldiers not to act like the Hebron shooter, he would partially reduce Azarya's sentence purely out of considerations of compassion."
According to the committee, since Azarya was first detained, he has been granted multiple furloughs -- most recently for Rosh Hashanah this month, continued to receive his salary from the Israeli army, while his father founded a charitable organization and named it after him that has received more than 8 million shekels ($2.25 million) in donations.