Amir walks out of Ayalon Prison a free man, after serving a 16-year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a firearm for his part in the Rabin assassination; activists protest outside gate.
After sixteen and a half years in prison for helping his brother Yigal Amir plot the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Hagai Amir walked out of Ayalon Prison in Ramle on Friday morning a free man.
Meretz activists and other demonstrators waited outside the prison gate in protest of the release. They held signs saying “price tag 4.11.95” and called to Amir and his family, “we won’t forget and we won’t forgive, those who incited and murdered.”
Now 43 years old, the Herzliya native has never expressed remorse for his role in the assassination, which he reiterated as he left the prison, saying he was proud of what he did and has no regrets. He held up a “V” sign with his fingers, before leaving for his parents’ house.
“This is a black day for Israel,” said Secretary General of Meretz Dror Morag. “Hagai Amir may have paid his legal debt, but his debt to the public will never be settled.”
“Behind the Amir brothers stands an entire public of leaders and supporters who continue to incite against ther Left and democracy. Meretz will not forget nor forgive the murder, and will continue to work to achieve the late Rabin’s vision of peace,” he added.
Amir was sentenced for conspiracy to commit murder and possession of a firearm for his part in helping his brother plan the assassination of Rabin at a peace rally in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995.
In 2006, he was sentenced to an extra year in prison for threats made against the life of former prime minister Ariel Sharon.
Amir was supposed to be released a few months earlier because of prison overcrowding, but due to the Gilad Schalit prisoner release, there was no longer a need to afford him early release.
His brother Yigal remains in solitary confinement serving a life sentence for killing Rabin.
Contacted by The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said they would not comment on whether or not they still consider Amir a threat to the public or if they will perform surveillance on him after his release.
Rabin’s granddaughter Noa Rothman (nee Ben-Artzi) posted a message on her Facebook page on Thursday that read “Hagai Amir will be released tomorrow from prison. This is how it is in a democracy, I know, but what can you do? The heart is irrational. The heart burns, especially on a day like this… Because 16 and a half years have gone by and it’s just as painful and insulting like it was yesterday.”
Elsewhere, in an interview with Israel Radio on Thursday, Kadima MK and former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter said that Hagai’s brother Yigal should have been executed for killing Rabin.