Hebron Shooter Asks to Delay Prison Sentence Until Israeli Army Chief's Decision

Elor Azaria, a soldier who was sentenced to 18 months for shooting an incapacitated Palestinian assailant, has asked the army chief to do community service instead

Elor Azaria escorted by his mother arrives to Israeli military court in Tel Aviv, July 30, 2017.
Dan Balilty/AP

The former Israeli soldier who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for killing an incapacitated Palestinian assailant in Hebron last year has asked the military court to stay out of jail until the IDF chief of staff makes a final decision in his case.

Elor Azaria asked IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot on Thursday to allow him to do community service instead of serving time in prison.

Azaria is slated to begin his sentence at the military prison in Tzrifin in central Israel on Wednesday. On Sunday, he asked the military appeals court to postpone his incarceration until Eisenkot decides on his request.

Sources told Haaretz last week Eisenkot might be open to such a deal should Azaria voice regret for his deeds.

Azaria was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 18 months by an Israeli military court and, last Sunday, had his appeal thrown out by another military tribunal.

Under military law, the chief of staff can decide to shorten a convict's sentence 30 days after it is made final. Azaria's attorneys argue that Eisenkot can already make his decision since Azaria has announced he doesn't intend to appeal his sentence, but the military prosecution believes the chief of staff will only be authorized to do so in September.