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assassination suspect

'I have no regrets'

Law student confesses to killing Rabin

November 5, 1995
Web posted at: 2:10 a.m. EST (0710 GMT)

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- The man who confessed that he shot and killed Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told police Sunday that he was "satisfied."

Yigal Amir, a 27-year-old Jewish law student, told police that he had "no regrets" and was acting on the "orders of God." According to Israeli radio, when he was told that Rabin died in surgery after being shot in the arm and back, Amir said, "I'm satisfied."

Amir, who is said to have connections to Jewish extremist groups, is an unmarried reserve soldier in the army's elite Golani brigade. He lives in the town of Herzeliya, which lies just north of Tel Aviv.

Amir is a third-year law student at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv. He is said to have been in contact with activists from the right-wing group "Eyal," headed by fellow student Avishai Ravid. The "Eyal" group branched off of the radical anti-Arab Kach movement, which was founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.

But Ravid said that although Amir is known among the group, he is not a member and that "Eyal" is not responsible for the assassination. Ravid also said that the group condemned the action.

Another fellow student of the confessed assassin told Israeli radio that Amir became increasingly angered by Muslim militant attacks in Israel. The student said that Amir had made verbal threats against Rabin over a long period of time. He was said to have distributed anti-government leaflets and attended anti-government rallies.

Although government spokesman Uri Dromi linked Amir to the right-wing, police said that Amir told them he acted alone. They also report that Amir allegedly attempted to kill Rabin on two other occasions.

Although Amir says he was a lone gunman, authorities are expected to crack down on right-wing extremist groups.

Security had been tightened around Rabin as concerns increased that harsh right-wing rhetoric would stop Israel from handing over the West Bank to the PLO.

Rabin was reportedly upset over recent protests in which he was called a Nazi. Much of the intense demonstrations were based in Jewish settlements around Hebron, the only West Bank town where Israelis live among the Palestinians.

Political scientist and a former Mossad official Yossi Alpher said that many were acutely aware of the danger of violence by extremists in recent days. "Sadly, many non-violent politicians on the right were encouraging extremists to adopt violent means because they themselves were using extremist rhetoric," he said.

An expert on Israel's religious right said that members have a "simplistic" view of the peace process. Menachen Friedman, a professor at Bar Ilan University, said that right-wing extremists believe that they can stop the entire process by killing a leader.

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