Last updated: 4 July, 2012

Israel may move Rabin assassin out of solitary

Israeli prison authorities are weighing moving the man who assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin out of solitary confinement for the first time in 17 years, a prison services spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

“On the recommendation of Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security service), the district tribunal for the central region of Israel has decided that Yigal Amir can been detained outside of solitary confinement, and we are examining that decision,” spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told AFP.

Amir shot and fatally wounded Rabin at a Tel Aviv peace rally on November 4, 1995, in a bid to torpedo the Oslo autonomy accords with the Palestinians. He is serving a life term.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which reported the potential transfer on Wednesday, Amir has been in solitary confinement for 17 years, and was also under 24-hour video surveillance until 2006.

It said the main reason for the solitary confinement was a fear that other prisoners might attack Amir, but officials also pointed out that Amir had never expressed remorse for his crime.

Earlier this year, a court approved his request to be allowed to pray with up to three prisoners each day.

Haaretz said that even if Amir were transferred, he will not be moved to an open prison block, where prisoners stay outside their cells most of the day.