The brother and key accomplice of the man who assassinated Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was on Friday morning released from jail after more that 16 years, an AFP correspondent said.
Haggai Amir was freed from the Ayalon prison in Ramla, south of Tel Aviv, after serving 16 years in prison for complicity in the murder of Rabin, and another six months for death threats he made against former prime minster Ariel Sharon.
“I don’t regret what I did, I’m proud of my actions,” Amir said in remarks carried by public radio, as dozens of leftwing and pro-peace activists outside the prison chanted “disgrace” and “we won’t forget or forgive.”
Haggai Amir is the brother of Yigal Amir, who shot and fatally wounded Rabin at a Tel Aviv peace rally on November 4, 1995, in a bid to torpedo the Oslo autonomy accords with the Palestinians. He is serving a life term.
Neither brother has expressed any remorse for the killing and Yigal Amir remains incarcerated in a high-security jail under round-the-clock surveillance.
Security personnel kept protesters and media at bay Friday morning while Haggai Amir was whisked into a van.
Public radio said he would be taken to relatives in the West Bank settlement Shavei Shomron for his first weekend of freedom. He is expected then to move in with his parents in Herzliya, just north of Tel Aviv.
Rabin’s daughter Dalia told Israeli news website Ynet on Thursday that Haggai should never go free.
“People like that belong behind bars forever,” she said.