Prison conditions eased for Rabin killer Yigal Amir


Seventeen years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin stood before a packed square, rallying supporters to back the impending peace process he was orchestrating with the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

As Rabin left the event later in the evening, he was assassinated.

His killer, Yigal Amir has been in solitary confinement ever since his arrest, and was under constant camera surveillance until 2006.

He was separated from other prisoners as it was feared he would disseminate his extremist views to others, or that he could be attacked by other inmates.

Israeli officials have now announced that Amir will be allowed to join a normal prison community, on the basis that the reasons for keeping him separate are no longer valid.

Amir will not move to an open prison ward. Instead, he will be held in a cell with two to four fellow inmates, and will have two hours every day to meet with other inmates in the prison yard.

It will also mean he is now able to watch television and use a telephone more often.

Many believe that, had Rabin not been murdered, peace would have been acheived in the region. The decision to release Amir from confinement is likely to be controversial among Israelis.

Amir has never expressed any remorse for his actions.

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