Assassin Yigal Amir will be moved in with other prisoners in the near future, ending 17 years of solitary confinement for the man who shot prime minister Yitzhak Rabin to death in 1995.
The 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 convicted assassin who is serving a life sentence without parole, will join between 1-3 other inmates in a locked cell and be allowed to walk in the prison yard for two hours a day.
With the change of conditions in the coming days, Amir will be able to meet with other prisoners, watch television, enjoy more frequent phone calls, and more frequent meetings with visitors who come to see him at the prison.
Amir has spent the last 17 years in solitary confinement, most of them under 24-hour surveillance, at the recommendation of the Prisons Service and the police, who argued that other prisoners may attempt to take his life in retaliation for the assassination.
In addition, Amir was considered a threat to the State because he has not shown regret for Rabin’s murder.
The Israel Prison Service made the decision to move him after the a district court instructed it to look at ways of easing the conditions under which Amir is held.
In 2006 Amir was transferred to the Rimonim prison near Netanya and although he continued to be held in a solitary cell, the surveillance cameras were removed and he was 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.