Israeli lawmaker Ben-Eliezer: Egyptian street longing for Mubarak

(JTA) –The people of Egypt have been longing for Hosni Mubarak, Israeli lawmaker Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said as the ex-Egyptian president was released from prison.

Mubarak was freed on Thursday to a waiting helicopter, which took him to a military hospital. He will remain under house arrest after spending more than two years in prison.

His retrial on charges of complicity in the killing of nearly 900 protesters in the popular 2011 uprising that forced him from office is scheduled to start next week. Mubarak, who served 30 years as Egyptian president, also had been convicted in a Cairo court on corruption-related charges.

“I think the discharge was to be expected,” Ben-Eliezer, of the Labor party, told Ynet on Thursday. “We’ve been hearing a longing for Mubarak from the people of Egypt for a long time. These are the sounds of the Egyptian street.

“Mubarak is not an innocent man, but he contributed greatly to stability in the Middle East and in the West in general. He loves his people.”

Mubarak resigned in February 2011 following three weeks of intense street demonstrations and citizen uprising.