Hagai Amir, (3rd from L) at Supreme Court in 1995.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hagai Amir, the brother of Yitzhak Rabin assassin Yigal Amir, was arrested after being detained and questioned by police on Tuesday on suspicion of incitement, following a Facebook post he wrote against President Reuven Rivlin.
In the post published on Tuesday, Amir wrote, “Rivlin is a kiss-up politician. He’s not the one who will determine if my brother is released or not, only God can decide, just as God decided that Rabin would die – even though Rivlin and his friends didn’t agree. He [God] ruled that Rivlin would be president, and the time has come for him [God] to rule that Rivlin, together with the Zionist state, must pass from the Earth, just as Sodom did, because of the crimes they committed legally against their own people. This day is not far off.”
Amir was expected to appear for a remand extension Wednesday in Tel Aviv.
Amir’s post was written two days after Rivlin wrote a Facebook post in which he vowed that Yigal Amir would never be released from prison.
“As long as I am president the murderer Yigal Amir will not be set free,” Rivlin said, adding that he would not pardon “this accursed man.”
Rivlin also said it is an obligation for all citizens to ensure that Israelis from every sector and walk of life take part in Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day, which he called “a test for the Israeli democracy.”
In May 2012, Amir was released from Ayalon Prison after serving 16.5 years for conspiracy to commit murder and possession of a firearm, for his part in helping his brother murder Rabin in 1995. In 2006, he served an additional six months in prison after he was convicted of threatening to have then-prime minister Ariel Sharon killed.
Amir has never expressed remorse for his role in the assassination and has at times expressed support for conspiracy theories about the murder.
Since his release from prison, Amir has been highly active on Facebook, and has expressed political beliefs that have confounded many people. During last year’s war with Hamas, he appeared to draw moral parallels between the terrorist group and the IDF, and has also appeared to show support for a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
In July 2012, he took to Facebook to write an 800-word post about what he said were “open questions” surrounding the assassination.
This included the oft-repeated conspiracy theory that when Yigal Amir opened fire on Rabin a voice could be heard shouting “Blanks, blanks!” He also ridiculed the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and its inability to prevent the assassination, and gave details about how he and his brother carried out the murder.
Yigal Amir is serving a life sentence plus 14 years in solitary confinement for the murder of Rabin.
In a related incident, Channel 2 broadcast footage Tuesday night of dozens of Beitar Jerusalem fans chanting “Yigal Amir” during a match against Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night.