Yigal Amir’s family has no regrets over Rabin murder

19 years on, brother of killer says ‘it needed to be done’ but two-state solution should be pursued

Almost two decades after the murder at point blank range of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995, the family of Yigal Amir expresses no regret over his assassination and the consequences they each faced.

But Yigal Amir’s main accomplice, his older brother Hagai Amir, seems to have done an about-face in terms of his politics and worldview, according to a report aired on Channel 2 Friday.

While the Amir brothers have always contended that they plotted the murder of Rabin to stop the peace process between the Israeli government and the Palestinians, Hagai now says he believes a two-state solution should be pursued.

And even though Hagai says he does not regret the assassination because “it needed to be done,” and that he would have done it two years earlier if he could have, he recently stunned followers with social media posts that seemed to support a two-state solution and the right of return for Palestinians, a key point of contention between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

Hagai said the assassination stopped the peace talks and “gave the Israeli people the right to choose [the way forward].”

During this summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups, Hagai posted a status on Facebook saying Hamas was no less moral than the IDF and expressed sorrow at the deaths of Palestinian children in Gaza.

“This [Operation Protective Edge] was an organized revenge campaign for the murders of the three Israeli teenagers,” he said, referring to the June kidnappings and murders of Gilad Sha’ar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach.

“People wanted blood and they got blood,” he added.

Hagai was released over two years ago after 16 years in prison, many of them in solitary confinement. Now 46, he never married and lives with his parents in Herzliya.

Hagai Amir, the brother of Yitzhak Rabin's assassin, Yigal Amir, leaves Ayalon Prison a free man on May 4, 2012 (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger /Flash 90)
Hagai Amir, the brother of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, leaves Ayalon Prison a free man on May 4, 2012 (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger /Flash 90)

Yigal Amir’s wife, Larissa Trembovler, whom he married a decade ago, said she also has no regrets and waits for her husband to come home.

“I’ve never regretted marrying him, not even for a moment. I love him, he loves me, we have a child together,” she told Channel 2. “I’m waiting for him,” she added.

Rabin’s killer, meanwhile, has high hopes of being pardoned and released, and they are not unrealistic, according to his lawyer, Ari Shamai, who was interviewed in the Channel 2 report.

“This hope [of being released] is not far-fetched,” Shamai said.

Last year, then-president Shimon Peres said Yigal Amir must never be absolved of serving out the entirety of his sentence. “The murderer will never be forgiven,” he said. “He will never be pardoned.”

Yigal Amir, now 44, is serving a life sentence for the murder of Rabin and remains in solitary confinement.

Rabin served as Israel’s chief of staff during the Six Day War in 1967. He was later ambassador to the US, defense minister and twice prime minister.

In 1994, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with then-foreign minister Shimon Peres and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat for his part in signing the Oslo Peace accords a year earlier.

Last year, over 30,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv for the main annual memorial event marking the assassination of Rabin.

The ceremony, titled “Remembering the murder, fighting for democracy,” was held in the square where Rabin was shot. Originally called Malchei Yisrael Square, it was renamed Rabin Square following the assassination.

The memorial was marked by the attendance of a large number of young people, organized by the Dror Israel youth group with several other such groups.

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