Kristine L Ming

Hebron shooter Elor Azaria released to house arrest

An IDF court on Monday ordered Hebron shooter Elor Azaria be temporarily released to full house arrest, the first time he will leave army custody since his arrest in March 2016.

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.

Rather, his three-year army service is due to end on July 20 and the IDF Prosecution has already agreed that he can move from open army base arrest to house arrest in between now and July 30, when his appeal is due to be decided.

Although Azaria’s defense lawyer, Yoram Sheftel, wanted Azaria released to half house arrest, so that he could leave home during daylight hours, the court ordered full house arrest, with an exception for allowing him to attend prayer services on the Sabbath with his parents.  

In May, Sheftel and lead IDF prosecutor for the case Lt. Col. Nadav Weissman engaged in a heated courtroom battle in the last appeal hearing over the manslaughter verdict against Azaria.

It was the “trial of your life! The trial of your life!” yelled Hebron shooter defense lawyer Sheftel in anger at Weissman as the two engaged in legal jousting.

Sheftel was taunting Weissman about statements he made about the trial in a recent interview.

In addition to that excitement, a panel of five judges of the IDF Appeals Court, with chief judge Maj. Gen. Doron Filis presiding, pounded the Hebron shooter’s defense team with questions about holes in their arguments to overturn the verdict.

The judges also heard the prosecution’s appeal that the 18-month prison sentence was too light.

The tense hearing in which Sheftel yelled and waved his finger at Weissman, while he also fought regularly with multiple judges, was the culmination of the saga which dates back to Elor Azaria’s killing of neutralized attacker Abdel Fatah al-Sharif on March 24, 2016.

IDF soldier shoots dead subdued Palestinian terrorist in Hebron, part of Elor Azaria case

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