I am proud of what I did, says Rabin murder accomplice as he walks free (INDEPENDENT UK) CATRINA STEWART JERUSALEM 05/05/12)
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The brother of the man who murdered the Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin walked free yesterday after 16-and-a-half years in jail
for being an accomplice, declaring that he was "proud" of what he did.
Hagai Amir, 43, conspired with his brother, Yigal, to assassinate
Rabin in retaliation for his efforts to seek peace with the
Palestinians and cede parts of the biblical heartland in the West
Bank and Gaza.
His brother, an ultra-nationalist Jew, who is serving a life sentence
in a high-security jail, fired three rounds into Rabin at a peace
rally in Tel Aviv in 1995. His actions helped set in motion the
events that would bring a right-wing government back to power.
Ahead of Amir´s release early yesterday, peace activists gathered
outside the prison, chanting "Disgrace" and "We won´t forgive, we
won´t forget". As family members led the former prisoner to a car, he
held his fingers aloft in a V for victory sign and told Israeli
radio: "I am not regretful. I am proud of what I did." He was to
spend his first night of freedom in a Jewish settlement in the
occupied West Bank.
"This is a black day for Israel," Dror Morag, the secretary general
of the left-wing Meretz party, was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem
Post. "Hagai Amir may have paid his legal debt, but his debt to the
public will never be settled. Behind the Amir brothers stands an
entire public of leaders and supporters who continue to incite
against the left and democracy."
Seventeen years after his death, Rabin is still regarded by many
Israelis as the leader who came closest to achieving lasting peace
with the Palestinians. A former general, he pursued a policy of
ceding land for peace, culminating in the signing of the Oslo peace
But there were many on the right who regarded him as a traitor for
agreeing to give up land in the West Bank that religious Jews
consider a part of their birthright.
The Israelis and Palestinians went on to fight a bitter Second
Intifada after Mr Rabin´s death in 1995, and prospects for a peace
deal remain more remote than ever. Israel´s current right-wing
government has promoted Jewish settlement in the West Bank while
doing little to pursue peace talks. (©independent.co.uk 05/05/12)
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