Former IDF soldier Elor Azaria entered Keleh 4 (Prison Number Four) on Wednesday to begin serving an 18-month sentence after his conviction on a manslaughter charge earlier this year.
Dozens of his supporters assembled outside the prison, located in Tzrifin, to cheer him on as he entered the building.
“Do not fear, Elor, Israel is with you!” some of the supporters shouted. Others chanted, “Elor is a hero.”
Charlie Azaria, his father, thanked the crowd for its support.
Attorney Yoram Sheftel described his client’s requirement to serve the prison sentence after a failed appeal as a “sad day for the State of Israel and the IDF. A man has never entered prison in the State of Israel when 90 percent of the population disagrees with the ruling,” he said.
Azaria will wait in prison for the disposition of his request for a pardon from IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.