NEW YORK (Feb. 21)
Robert Kennedy’s promise of military aid to Israel was the trigger that led to Sirhan Sirhan’s decision to kill the Democratic presidential hopeful, who had just won the California primary election in June 1968.
Sirhan gave that explanation in an interview with television host David Frost on NBC’s “Inside Edition” Monday night.
The Jerusalem-born Palestinian, who immigrated to the United States as a child and is now 44, is serving a life sentence at the California Correctional Facility at Soledad.
He will be eligible for parole in May for the 13th time since he began his sentence in 1969.
In the interview, the first with Sirhan since he shot Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles more than 20 years ago, the Palestinian said he hadn’t planned the killing because Robert Kennedy “was my hero, my champion,” who stood up for the underdog.
Sirhan recalled hearing Kennedy at a rally n Oregon promise warplanes to Israel. It was then that the targeted the senator to die.
“To hear him say he was going to send 50 Phantom jets to Israel . . . to deliver nothing but death and destruction on my countrymen, that seemed like it was a betrayal,” Sirhan said.
He said he was “immature” at the time.