IDF soldier who shot wounded terrorist sent to house arrest

Azaria at the hearing today

Elor Azaria, the IDF soldier sentenced to 18 months in prison for shooting an incapacitated Palestinian terrorist, is to be released to house arrest, a military court ruled Monday.

Azaria has been under military arrest since the terrorist attack in Hebron at the end of March 2016, when he fatally shot the neutralized and unarmed terrorist.

The development does not mean that Azaria is free from his 18-month prison sentence, which is still pending a decision by the IDF Military Court of Appeals.

Sgt Elor Azaria was captured on video fatally shooting a Palestinian who was wounded after stabbing a soldier in the West Bank a year ago. It also led to strong statements across the Israeli political spectrum, with some politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for him to be pardoned, while others decried the fact that Azaria was prosecuted on a charge of manslaughter rather than murder. He will remain there except for trips to the synagogue, accompanied by a family member, on Friday night and Shabbat day.

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Military judges are expected to rule on his appeal on July 30, Israeli media reported.

Lt. Col. Nadav Weissman, military prosecutor in the trial against IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria, speaks to press at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv following the verdict of Azaria on January 4, 2017.

The defense maintained Azaria felt his life was in danger, saying he thought the terrorist could have been carrying a bomb on his body. It is now assumed that the prosecution will acquiesce to his being sent home for house arrest for the time being.

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