West Bank Settlement Protests the Planned Arrival of Rabin Assassination Co-conspirator

Hagai Amir, brother of late PM's assassin Yigal Amir, released after over 16 years in prison; Shavei Shomron resident: We can't prevent the visit, but we're not happy.

Residents of a West Bank settlement are protesting the planned arrival of Hagai Amir, convicted of conspiring with his brother Yigal to kill Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, following his release from prison earlier Friday.

Amir was freed after serving the full 16-and-a-half-year-sentence for the 1995 killing, for which his brother is serving life in jail.

Shavei Shomron - Tzadok Levi - 4.5.2012
Tzadok Levi

Members of his family met him outside the prison and take him to the West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron for the weekend. His parents are expected to join him there for a family celebration.

However, residents of the West Bank settlement have been protesting Amir's planned arrival, hanging signs reading, among others, "Thou shalt not kill," and "Murder – that isn't our way."

One man, expressing opposition to the weekend visit, said the residents "renounce this visit utterly and of course utterly renounce anything that has to do with the Rabin assassination."

"This is a completely private visit that people are frowning upon. We can't prevent it, but we're certainly not happy," the Shavei Shomron resident said, adding: "that man isn't wanted in the settlement and he would do better to not arrive."

The man said: "There are other places in the country with good air and great views. He shouldnt come to stain the Shomron's residents. It's a disgrace. Even if it is a private visit, we hope Hagai amir never arrives."

Earlier in the day, a police contingent was present as Amir was released from Ayalon prison, because of the presence of his family, as well as both left-wing and right-wing activists.

Roughly 40 activists loyal to Meretz and Working and Learning Youth movement were on site to protest Amirs release.

Some activists said to Amirs family: We will yet wipe the smile off of your faces.

Dror Morag, the Meretz party secretary-general, responded to the release. We are here to prevent the next Yigal Amir. We must remember that even today, this man does not regret his actions, nor apologize for them, said Morag.