WATCH: Emotional Farewell as ‘Hebron Shooter’ Begins Serving 18-Month Prison Sentence

Former Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for killing a wounded Palestinian assailant, sits in a car with his mother (R) as he leaves his home heading to the military prison in Rishon Lezion, Israel August 9, 2017 REUTERS/ Amir Cohen
Elor Azaria AKA “The Hebron Shooter”, an IDF combat medic, who last March was recorded on cellphone video as he shot a wounded Palestinian who had just stabbed a fellow soldier, entered military prison today to begin serving an 18 month sentence.

Azaria said he believed that the terrorist was ‘a clear & present danger’ and feared he was concealing explosives. He was supported in his defense by other soldiers and the Magen David Adom (Israel’s National Ambulance & Emergency Service) Ambulance Driver at the site of the attack who ‘felt threatened at the scene’ (by the terrorist).

Azaria, was convicted of manslaughter by a military court also has 12 months probation tacked onto his 18 month prison sentence. In addition he was also demoted from the rank of the rank of Samal (sergeant) to Turai (private.)

Before he left to prison, he had an emotional farewell with his mother Oshra, who was also celebrating her birthday. Elor’s favorite singer, Elor loves the singer Haim Dadon was also in attendance and serenaded him and his mother as she hugged him with a tearful goodbye to the song “Gibor Shel Ima” (Mommy’s brave one). Dozens of supporters gathered at the Azaria family’s home in to escort him on his way to the military prison in Rishon Letzion.

On her birthday cake, Elor Azaria’s mother dedicated it to him with the words “To our brave soldier” (Facebook)

Yoram Sheftel, the lawyer who represented Elor Azaria said at the family’s home that “this is a sad day for the country, for the IDF, and for 90 percent of the citizens of Israel. It’s a joyous day for the Arab enemy, and therefore a joyous day for the media.

“I’ve had to handle serious problems created by Elor’s former lawyers. No one has ever gone to prison with so many people lined up to escort him there,” Sheftel said.

The case has divided Israel where top IDF brass pushed for his prosecution saying he violated the IDF’s high code of ethics. However Israel’s nationalist right sided with Elor Azaria, calling him a hero.

Supporters for Israeli soldier Elor Azaria.