A soldier convicted of fatally shooting a Palestinian terrorist has begun serving his prison term.
About half a year after he was convicted of manslaughter, Elor Azaria entered the IDF Prison 4 on Tzrifin base in central Israel on Wednesday morning in order to begin his 18-month sentence.
Earlier today, he left his home in Ramla, located about 10 minutes from the prison, accompanied by shouts of “Elor is a hero” from dozens of supporters who have rallied behind him since the shooting in March 2016 in Chevron.
Azaria, a combat medic, was recorded on cellphone video as he shot a badly wounded Palestinian who had previously stabbed a soldier. He was convicted of manslaughter.
The case has divided a country where military service is mandatory.
Israel’s military pushed for his prosecution, saying he violated the military’s vaunted code of ethics. But Israel’s nationalist right sided with Azaria and called him a hero.