The brother and primary accomplice to the killer of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was detained for questioning on Tuesday over a Facebook post stating that President Reuven Rivlin and the “Zionist state” would soon “depart from this world.”
Hagai Amir’s social media post came days after Rivlin vowed he would never pardon Yigal Amir, who shot and killed Rabin 20 years ago with the help of Hagai.
“As long as I am president, Yigal Amir will never be pardoned,” Rivlin said at a ceremony marking 20 years to Rabin’s assassination. “May my right hand wither if I ever sign a pardon for that damned man.”
In response, Hagai Amir called Rivlin “a brown-nosing politician.”
“He does not determine whether my brother goes free or not, only God does, just as He determined that Rabin would die even though Rivlin and his friends didn’t exactly agree. He determined that Rivlin would be president, and the time will come when he will determine that Rivlin, along with the Zionist state, must depart from this world, just like Sodom did, for its crimes that it has committed against its people within the framework of the law,” Hagai wrote on Facebook.
“And that day is not far away,” he added.
The Israel Police arrested Amir Tuesday in his parents’ home in Herzliya and interrogated him under caution for incitement. Amir was set to appear at a hearing on Wednesday at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court to extend his remand, a police spokeswoman said.
Hagai Amir was convicted in 1996 of conspiracy to commit murder and possession of a firearm, after his brother’s assassination of Rabin following a peace rally on November 4, 1995.
Both Yigal and Hagai Amir admitted to their role in the assassination, carried out to stop the Oslo peace accords from going forward, but many Israelis believe the two to be innocent or part of a larger conspiracy.
On Monday, Beitar Jerusalem fans chanted Yigal Amir’s name at a soccer match which coincided with the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s murder.
The soccer team may face disciplinary action for the fans’ behavior, the Ynet news website reported.
Tamar Pileggi and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.