Family and friends of soldier Elor Azariya are celebrating his release from prison Tuesday morning.

A festive reception was held next to Azariya's home in the city of Ramle. Azariya was supposed to be released on Thursday, but was released this morning after his request to be able to attend his brother's wedding.

Elor's father, Charlie, said in a statement to the media that "Today is a happy day, after 26 months of suffering and a nightmare that I do not wish for anyone - not even for those who hate me."

"We have gone through a very difficult period. Today we celebrate, the rest we will have the time and place to say. Ninety-five percent of the people supported us - the embrace of the people is the biggest embrace there is," added the happy father.