Report: Late Third Bodyguard Left Opening For Rabin’s Assassin
JERUSALEM (AP) _ A 10-second delay by the bodyguard assigned to cover Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s back left an opening that allowed his assassin to reach him, an Israeli newspaper said today.
The newspaper Haaretz quoted officials of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, as saying that, had the bodyguard been in place, he would have scared off Yigal Amir or blocked him before he could shoot Rabin.
There was no explanation for the delay.
The three bodyguards who guarded Rabin the night of the assassination were scheduled to testify today before a state-appointed commission investigating the slaying. The commission is examining the alleged security breaches that allowed Yigal Amir to shoot Rabin twice in the back as he got into his car after a Nov. 4 peace rally in Tel Aviv.
In an unusual move, the commission censured the head of the Shin Bet and Israel police for repeatedly leaking information to the media, a Justice Minister official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The commission warned it would open the sessions to the public, revealing the identity of Shin Bet’s secret agents, if the stream of leaks continued, the daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot said.
A police spokesman said today that police would question more rabbis in connection with Rabin’s murder. Two rabbis who were questioned for eight hours Sunday were brought in for further questioning today. One, Rabbi Shmuel Dvir, was released on bail, and the other, Rabbi David Kav, was released unconditionally, police said.
The rabbis are suspected of issuing religious rulings pronouncing Rabin a ``rodef,″ or persecutor, who should be punished by death because his policy of turning over land to the Palestinians led to attacks against Israelis.
Police suspect Amir, an observant Jew and combat veteran, received a rabbi’s blessing before shooting Rabin.
Rabbi Kav was the former rabbi at a yeshiva where Amir once studied.
``I knew him three, four years ago _ so what,″ he told reporters outside the police station. Rabbi Dvir denied sanctioning Rabin’s death or having any contact with Amir.