Jerusalem (AFP) - An Israeli soldier convicted of the manslaughter of a prone Palestinian assailant said Thursday he had decided to go straight to prison and not further appeal his 18-month sentence.
A military court on Sunday rejected an appeal by Elor Azaria, leaving open the possibility that he would take his case to Israel's Supreme Court.
But in an online video statement, his first public address since the March 2016 shooting in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, he said he had resigned himself to accepting the judgement.
"I believe that I could have been found innocent, but my family and I have suffered terribly for the past year and a half," he said in Hebrew.
"The ordeal cost my parents their health. I want to return to routine as soon as possible."
"I shall go to prison to serve out the punishment I was given, and I shall not appeal to the Supreme Court," he said.
He is expected to report to a military prison south of the northern Israeli city of Haifa on August 9.
He will be hoping to earn the customary one-third remission for good conduct and perhaps win an even shorter spell behind bars.
"Earlier today, I appealed to the chief of staff asking that he reduce my sentence. I hope he responds positively," Azaria said.
Azaria was convicted in January and sentenced the following month.
The fatal shooting was caught on video by a rights group and spread widely online.
It showed Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, lying wounded on the ground, shot along with another Palestinian after stabbing and wounding a soldier, according to the army.
Azaria then shot him in the head without any apparent provocation.
He said he feared Sharif was wearing an explosive belt and could blow himself up, a claim judges rejected.
He has since completed his mandatory three-year army service, but will serve his sentence in military prison as the offence was committed while he was still in uniform.