Text size

The assassin of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Amir, will not be allowed to leave prison for the circumcision ceremony of his newborn son, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, the 12th anniversary of the assassination.

The Tel Aviv District Court yesterday rejected Amir's request to attend the circumcision ceremony outside Rimonim Prison, but said the ceremony could take place in the prison where he is held, a court spokeswoman said.

Yigal Amir, an ultra-nationalist Jew, shot Rabin to death after a peace rally on November 4, 1995, because he opposed the prime minister's policy of ceding West Bank land to the Palestinians. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Although he is held in isolation, Amir has been permitted conjugal visits over the past year with his wife, Larissa Trimbobler, whom he married while in prison. The boy was born last Sunday, and according to Jewish tradition, a healthy Jewish male is circumcised eight days after his birth.

Circumcision is a major event in a Jewish boy's life, and Amir - who in the past 12 years has left prison only to appear in court - asked for dispensation to attend the ceremony.

A Tel Aviv judge ruled that while some convicted murderers are allowed furlough to attend their sons' circumcisions - or brit milah - the extraordinary gravity of Amir's crime made him ineligible. But he overrode the Israel Prison Service's opposition to allowing the ceremony to take place in the jail in central Israel where he is held, saying there was no legal basis to prevent Amir from holding the ceremony.

The court ruled further that Amir must not be allowed to leave the prison as he poses a real and immediate threat to the security of the state, to the public and to himself. Amir, attended the hearing, declined to answer questions from the media or say anything.

His lawyer said Amir was bound to remain silent in accordance with a court order he had signed. "If he could speak, he might have said he was opposed to violence, and regretted killing the prime minister," attorney Shmuel Casper said.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz said he would not apeal to the High Court of Justice to overturn the Tel Aviv District Court's ruling to allow Amir to attend the bris.