Rabin's Daughter Urges Netanyahu to Keep Yigal Amir in Solitary

Amir has been in solitary confinement since 1995; Haaretz reported this week that he would be allowed to serve with the general prison population.

Yitzhak Rabin's daughter has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to prevent the release of her father's assassin from solitary confinement, where he has been kept since the November 1995 murder.

Responding to Wednesday's report in Haaretz of the plan to allow Yigal Amir to serve his sentence among the general prison population, Dalia Rabin said she didn't believe the plan would ever be implemented.

"This isn't a family issue," Rabin said. "Anyone who fears for Israeli democracy, the prime minister and the Knesset members all have to demand that something be done about this decision. The decision has to be discussed by the prime minister."

Opposition leader and Labor Party chief Shelly Yacimovich said that bringing Amir out of solitary "leaves a bad taste."

"Amir isn't an ordinary prisoner, and the crime he committed wasn't a criminal murder, but a shot fired into the heart of democracy and an effort to stymie a diplomatic process by an elected government," she said.

"Easing his conditions isn't a regular display of humanity to a regular prisoner, but, unfortunately, another blurring of the terrible event that has to be remembered profoundly."

Meretz secretary-general Dror Morag called the decision "mistaken and outrageous, meant to send a message of mercy to the prime minister's murderer, someone who never expressed regret for his actions. Amir could take advantage of his meetings with other prisoners to spread his murderous doctrine."

Most left-wing MKs, however, declined to comment on the decision. One MK said he and his colleagues did not have any problem with easing Amir's conditions.

"His continuing solitary confinement was unnecessary abuse of a prisoner who is serving his sentence," the MK said. "But we don't want to be portrayed in public as people who support easier conditions for Amir."

The Israel Prison Service said the decision to integrate Amir with other prisoners was made because the High Court of Justice had said his confinement should be reevaluated from time to time.

The prison service is now trying to find the right prisoners to house with Amir - inmates who will not pose a risk to him but who are not likely to be influenced by him.

Tomer Noiberg