Yigal Amir, who assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, was released from solitary confinement Saturday morning at the Rimonim prison near Netanya.
He had been separated from the general prison population since his incarceration 17 years ago, first at Beersheba’s Eshel facility and later at Ayalon prison in Ramle, before being transferred to the Rimonim facility in 2006.
The government did not submit a request this year, as it had done for 16 years in a row, to keep Amir in solitary.
The Israel Prison Service said Wednesday that Amir will not be allowed to join an open wing in which prisoners are free to come and go from their cells. Instead, the assassin, who is serving a life sentence without parole, will join one to three other inmates in a locked cell and be allowed to walk in the prison yard for two hours a day.
As part of his new holding conditions, Amir will be able to meet with other prisoners, watch television, enjoy more frequent phone calls, and have more frequent meetings with visitors who come to see him at the prison.
Amir has spent most of the last 17 years under 24-hour surveillance, per the recommendations of the Prison Service and the police, who argued that other prisoners may attempt to take his life in retaliation for the assassination.
Amir continues to be considered a security threat to the state because he has not shown remorse for Rabin’s murder.
Since 2006, Amir has been allowed limited interaction with other prisoners for prayers and Torah studies.
Earlier this year, Amir’s brother Hagai, who was convicted of abetting in the crime, was released from prison.