We were stunned, say killer's parents

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Jerusalem (Reuter) - The weeping mother of Yitzhak Rabin's assassin said yesterday she and her husband were shocked when police discovered enough explosives in their attic to blow the house sky-high.

"Shlomo and I stood there stunned, simply in shock. When I went upstairs . . . I asked [the police] `What are those bars of soap?' When they explained it to me, it took me perhaps an hour or two to digest what he left up there," Geula Amir said.

Police said they had seized enough weapons and explosives in Yigal Amir's family home in the north Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya "to make any terror group proud".

His parents gave an interview to Israel Television in which Mrs Amir said that "only God knows" why her son ignored the religious family's teachings of tolerance and murdered Rabin.

Mrs Amir, a nursery school teacher, said Yigal had had "the best foundation" for a successful life.

Her husband, Shlomo, a Bible scribe, said he had never agreed with Rabin's peace policies and felt they could "lead to murder or something". But, he said: "To commit murder? God forbid." He said Yigal had been allowed to telephone from jail and that he told his son: "You have no permission from anyone [to murder]. Ask for forgiveness."