Man who killed peace activist released from prison

Yona Avrushmi released after 27 years behind bars for murdering Emil Grunzweig at Peace Now demonstration in 1983.

peace now protest 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
peace now protest 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Twenty-seven years after he hurled a grenade that killed a Peace Now demonstrator in Jerusalem, Yona Avrushmi on Wednesday emerged from the Hadarim Prison near Even Yehuda a free man after completing his reduced life sentence.
Emil Grunzweig was murdered on February 10, 1983, at a rally protesting the events of the First Lebanon War, in an act of political violence that shocked the country. Nine people were wounded.
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On Tuesday night, Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen said he was very disturbed by the threat of additional lethal political violence.
Avrushmi emerged from the prison with a large white kippa on his head.
He was besieged by journalists and cameramen as he left the prison compound, and made his way to the main road to search for a taxi.
“Just give us a word,” one reporter demanded.
“We came to hear your side,” another said, trying to get Avrushmi to speak.
But Avrushmi pushed the cameras away and did not utter a word, as he made his way through the maze of reporters and searched for a taxi.
In 1985, Avrushmi was sentenced to life in prison, but the sentence was reduced to 27 years in 1995.
A little under two years ago, Avrushmi petitioned the Prisons Service’s parole board with a second request for an earlier release, claiming, among other things, that if Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar could be released, it was possible to release him as well.
Associates of Avrushmi, now 54, said they expected him to move to an apartment in south Tel Aviv and find work.
Grunzweig’s family released a statement saying, “We can only hope that in the future, this man will deal only with self-rehabilitation and not with incitement and murder.”
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.