'If the Chief of Staff won't support Elor, we will'

Initiator of fundraising project hopes outpouring of support sends clear message to IDF. 'We wanted to compensate Elor, and give him a hug.'

Tags: Elor Azariya
Benny Tocker ,

Ayelet Lash
Ayelet Lash
Public Relations

The fundraising initiative to raise an army release stipend for soldier Elor Azariya has passed its initial target, and currently stands at 238,000 shekels. The final goal is to reach 550 thousand shekels.

Ayelet Lash, a member of the community of Rehelim in Samaria and the one who spearheaded the fundraising project, told Arutz Sheva, “We were surprised how easy it was. We quickly passed the initial target - 220,000 shekels. People are turning to us from within Israel and around the world. Thousands want to contribute to Elor.”

Lash described the Azariya family's grateful reaction, and that of Elor himself, currently serving an 18-month sentence in military prison for a manslaughter conviction over the shooting of a wounded terrorist in Hevron last year. “I am in touch with the family, and they are very happy to hear that the initiative has succeeded. They told Elor, and he was really in shock. He said that he couldn’t believe that people still remembered him. He thought that ever since he had gone to prison, his story had been taken off the public agenda.”

According to Lash, Elor can relax because immediately after his release from prison, he will be able to start his life with his own “savings plan -” and the support of the entire nation.

Lash explained why she decided to spearhead the project. “The nation of Israel needs to show Elor appreciation for helping us be rid of another terrorist for whom we would have had prison expenses, but mainly the goal is to give Elor support, because the system stabbed him in the back, and the family is experiencing indescribable suffering. We decided to compensate him for all the time he spends in prison, and give him a hug.”

“As a resident of Rehelim in Samaria, we well know the dangers with which soldiers struggle, and this is definitely not the first instance. So instead of being annoyed, I decided to act in a pleasant manner. I was privileged to meet Lior's special parents, and I saw the sadness in their eyes. We’re sending a message to the Chief of Staff here to make sure he knows that if he doesn’t support Elor - we will.”