(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier Elor Azaria, convicted on manslaughter charges for shooting and killing an incapacitated terrorist in Hebron last March, was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison and was demoted from sergeant to private.
Around 100 protesters went to the military court at the IDF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv to show support for the soldier.
Military Court Judge Maya Heller said in her sentencing of Azaria, “The standard punishment for manslaughter is 20 years in prison, to teach us about the gravity that the legislature attributes to the crime of manslaughter. But in the state of Israel, punishment is individual....The defendant was drafted to the IDF in July 2014 as an infantryman in the Kfir Brigade; he successfully passed a paramedics’ course. The defendant has no disciplinary past.”
Before the sentencing, the prosecution had asked to have Azaria spend between three and five years in prison. Immediately after the sentence was announced, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted, “The security of the citizens of Israel depends on an immediate pardon for Elor Azaria, who was sent to protect us. The process was tainted from the start. Elor must not go to prison, because we’ll all pay the price for it.”