Rabin killer´s brother released from Israel prison (AP) Associated Press) By TIA GOLDENBERG JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 05/04/12 5:18 am ET)
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JERUSALEM – The unrepentant brother of the man who killed Israeli
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was released from prison Friday after
serving 16 1/2 years for complicity in a murder that stunned Israel
and according to some destroyed an opportunity for peace.
Hagai Amir, 43, is not known to have expressed remorse for his role
in the death and upon his release he told Israel Radio, "I am proud
of what I did."
Amir helped plan the 1995 killing. His brother Yigal Amir, an ultra-
nationalist Jewish extremist, is serving a life sentence for gunning
down the prime minister after a Tel Aviv peace rally.
Channel 2 TV showed several dozen peace activists outside the prison
ahead of Amir´s release holding signs reading, "We won´t forgive, we
won´t forget." As Amir exited the prison and was whisked away in a
white van, they chanted "disgrace."
Amir was greeted by his mother and was expected to be taken to a
relative´s house in a Jewish West Bank settlement for his first night
"Sixteen and a half years have passed and it is painful and insulting
as if it were yesterday and I want to scream but what more is left to
say?" Noa Rothman, Rabin´s granddaughter, wrote on her Facebook page.
Amir was originally sentenced to 16 years, but that time was extended
by six months after he was convicted of threatening the life of
former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2006. He spent most of his
prison years in isolation.
The Amir brothers opposed Rabin´s policy of trading land to the
Palestinians for peace.
Rabin´s killing shocked not only Israelis but also the world, which
had pinned its hopes on the former general´s bold peace agenda. Some
argue that his murder radically changed the peace process between
Israelis and Palestinians.
Rabin was a war hero who Israelis trusted to negotiate peace, even if
that meant conceding lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.
During his tenure, he signed the Oslo accords and a peace treaty with
Since his death, the peace process has mostly sputtered and the years
since have been marred by waves of attacks by Palestinian militants
and wars in Lebanon and with the militant Hamas movement in Gaza.
"Yigal Amir fired three shots to Rabin´s back but he also fired three
shots to the heart of ... the state of Israel. It´s fair to say today
that since the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, we are not the same country,"
former lawmaker Danny Yatom, a confidant of Rabin, told Israel radio.
(© 2012 The Associated Press 05/04/12)
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