Hagai Amir, brother of the notorious Yigal Amir, was freed from jail last year after serving a 16-year sentence for his involvement in the assassination of then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.
Now he has begun sharing his story with the media – and has openly declared that he is guilty, and has no regrets.
“I don’t regret what we did,” he told journalist Ori Golan of the Sydney Morning Herald. “No, I have not changed my mind.”
“We knew what we were doing and we were willing to pay the price,” he declared. “There was no choice. This was a matter of national importance.”
Amir expressed one regret – not assassinating Rabin earlier. “I now think we should have done it two years earlier, but we left some room for [Rabin] to admit that he may have made a mistake. When he signed Oslo B, it was clear he did not think it was a mistake,” he stated.
“That is when we resolved to do it,” he recalled.
He told Golan that he was surprised at how easy the assassination was. “I mean, the Shin Bet works and trains for exactly this sort of scenario,” he said. The ease with which Yigal Amir killed Rabin at close range “is the reason for all the conspiracy theories,” he suggested.
Geula Amir, Yigal and Hagai’s mother, has said that she believes Yigal Amir was set up to take the blame for Rabin’s death, but did not actually kill him. Hagai rejected that argument. “He shot him,” he stated.
He declared that he does not support any party on the political right today, and accused all right-wing parties of abandoning their principles.
Hagai claimed that he and other prisoners were mistreated, and in some cases were shackled to their beds for up to four days as punishment. The Israel Prison Services refused to comment on his allegations.
Yigal Amir remains in prison for assassinating Rabin. President Shimon Peres – who holds the power of presidential pardon – has declared that Amir will rot in jail.
Amir has been held in solitary captivity for years at a time and is not allowed to pray with other prisoners. Despite restrictions on his movement, however, Amir managed to secretly marry while in jail and to father a child with his wife.