'Azariya must express remorse if he wants to be released'

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon says Elor Azariya's request for parole should be dependent on admission of guilt.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alon
Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense/Flash 90

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Wednesday that former IDF Sergeant Elor Azariya must express remorse for his actions before the parole board decides to commute his sentence.

"If someone asks for a pardon, first of all he has to acknowledge [that he acted wrongly] and express remorse," Ya'alon said, although he has no standing in the parole decision.

Azariya appeared before a parole board Wednesday. If the board accepts his parole request, he could be freed in a few days.

Azariya was convicted of manslaughter in January 2017 for the shooting death of a wounded Arab terrorist shortly after an attack in Hevron that left one soldier wounded in March, 2016. Ya'alon, Defense Minister at the time, condemned the shooting before the IDF investigation began.

In February 2017, an IDF court sentenced Azariya to 18 months in prison. That sentence was reduced to 14 months, however, after Azariya’s legal defense team appealed to IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who slashed four months from the prison sentence.

Azariya began serving his sentence last August, and will have completed half of his 14-month prison sentence next week.

Earlier this month, prison officials praised Azariya for his ‘exemplary’ behavior, and recommended that he be considered for early release.