A former police officer who shot dead a car thief will be released early from jail, a Prisons Service parole board ruled on Wednesday.

Detective Shahar Mizrahi said he opened fire on car thief Muhammad Ganaim in 2006 after Ganaim tried to run him over, though a court rejected his claim and ruled that Mizrahi opened fire unlawfully, and convicted him of manslaughter in 2009 and sentenced him to 15 months in prison.

An appeal by Mizrahi to the Supreme Court in 2010 was rejected, and the court doubled Mizrahi’s sentence to 30 months, to the outrage of Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch.

The parole board’s decision on Wednesday means Mizrahi will be set free on April 7, rather than in February 2013.

“I won’t be happy until I see him on the outside, back with his family,” Mizrahi’s mother, Rivka, told the Kol Rega radio station.

The decision was condemned by a coalition of civil society groups called Shutafut Sharakah, which said in a statement that it was “a dangerous signal over a light trigger finger when it comes to the safety and lives of Arabs in Israel.”

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