By Abdel Raouf Arnaout
An Israeli court on Monday commuted the jail term of an Israeli soldier convicted of killing an unarmed Palestinian in 2016.
Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on its website that a military court had accepted an early-release request lodged by the convicted soldier’s lawyers, meaning he will only serve one-third of his 18-month jail term.
Elor Azaria, who was only 18 years old at the time of the deadly incident, is now set for release on May 10.
Last August, Azaria was sentenced to 18 months behind bars after being convicted of killing Abdel-Fattah al-Sharif, a young Palestinian man, in the West Bank city of Hebron in March of 2016.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had rejected Azaria's earlier request for a pardon.
Many Israeli right-wing figures, however, say Azaria should never have been convicted in the first place.
Last September, Israeli Army Chief-of-Staff Gadi Eizenkot commuted Azaria's sentence to a mere 14 months behind bars.
Azaria became the target of an investigation after a rights activist captured him on film fatally shooting al-Sharif, who was unarmed and injured at the time of the incident.
The ensuing legal case led to a fissure in Israel’s right-wing government after the army took the unusual step of investigating a soldier for killing a Palestinian.