Twenty-three years after he murdered peace activist Emil Greenzweig, Yonah Avarushmi has apologized for the killing for the first time on Wednesday.
Greenzweig was killed when Avarushmi tossed a hand-grenade at a group of Peace Now activists demonstrating outside of the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, on February 10, 1983. It was during the War in Lebanon, and the activists were protesting for the dismissal of then-defense minister Ariel Sharon. Nine others were also wounded in the explosion.
"I am very sorry for the murder of Emil Greenzweig," Avarushmi said Wednesday, according to Army Radio. "I did something unacceptable."
At the same time Avarushmi requested that his sentence be reduced, explaining that he considered himself a changed man since the days of the murder.
"A man changes," he said. "I was a child then. No convict fulfills his entire sentence. Today I am a normal man, healthy, stable, and standing on my own two feet."
He wasn't arrested until roughly a year later, in 1984, after tireless police investigations finally led the authorities to Avarushmi. Upon his arrest, Avarushmi confessed to throwing the grenade because, as he said at the time, he viewed the demonstrators as traitors to Israel.
Shortly afterwards, however, Avarushmi retracted his confession and claimed that he was not the one that hurled the hand grenade.
Despite his claims, he was convicted in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison. Later he once again admitted to the murder and requested that his penalty be shortened. He argued that he had been manipulated by the incendiary tones of the Right wing at the time, who incited to violence but claimed no responsibility for the results.