Yigal Amir (born 1970) was a Jewish fundamentalist student at Bar-Ilan University who shot and fatally wounded Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4th, 1995 at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. Amir strenuously opposed Rabin’s signing of the Oslo Accords.
Biography Amir was born to a Yemenite national-religious Jewish family in Herzliya. He attended Haredi elementary school and yeshiva in his formal education, and served in the Golani Brigade during his IDF service. A law student at Bar-Ilan University, he was involved in organizing demonstrations against the Oslo Accords.
Amir perceived the Oslo Accords as national treason and a threat to the existence of Israel, which led to his decision to assassinate Rabin. His brother, Hagai, and his friend Dror Adani, were his accomplices in this plan. Amir had attempted to assassinate Rabin twice throughout 1995, but these plans fell through moments before implementation.
The assassination and aftermath
On November 4th, 1995, after a demonstration held in support of the peace process, held in Tel-Aviv’s “Square of the Kings of Israel” (Kikar Malkhei Yisrael ???? ???? ?????, now Kikar Rabin ???? ????), Amir awaited Rabin in the parking lot adjacent the square, where he assassinated him with two shots of a pistol, and injured a security guard with another shot.
The gun used by Amir was a Beretta 84F semi-automatic pistol in .380 ACP caliber, serial number D98231Y.
Amir was caught at the scene of the crime and was sentenced to life imprisonment, and 6 additional years in prison for injuring a security guard. In a later trial, he was sentenced to 5 years (and after an appeal on behalf of the State, 8 years) for conspiring to commit the murder with his brother and Adani. All punishments were accumulative.
Amir was held in isolation in the Be’er Sheva Prison, and was moved to the Ayalon Prison in 2003. His appeals on both punishments were rejected.
Amir has never expressed regret for his act of murder.
Most of the Right wing condemned the assassination despite the vast differences in political views and the widespread disgust at Rabin’s policies which the Right felt both emboldened the terrorists and gave them a territorial stronghold within Israel.
Engagement and proposed marriage in jail
During April 2004, the Tel Aviv District Court reviewed the decision regarding a request by Yigal Amir to get married in prison. He became engaged to Larisa Trembovler, an ultra-Orthodox new immigrant from the former Soviet Union, with a Ph.D. in philosophy, and a divorced mother of four. He may have met her on a trip to Russia in earlier times. In January 2004, the Israel Prisons Authority announced that it would prohibit Amir from marrying in jail, despite a law permitting all prisoners to wed and have children.
At the time, the Prisons Commissioner instructed his legal aides to prepare a case to defend the decision, which will likely be based on security considerations. But Amir’s lawyers said it violates their client’s basic rights and would not hold up in court. They noted that several Palestinians serving multiple life terms have been permitted to marry in prison. Legal analysts have said the Supreme Court would likely uphold any appeal by Amir’s lawyer, unless specific legislation is enacted prohibiting him from marrying.
Amir and Trembovler began exchanging letters and speaking on the phone, after she expressed ideological support for him. Trembovler was already married when she first met Amir, and subsequently divorced in order to marry him. Amir’s marriage request includes the right to be (conjugally) united with his intended wife in a jail cell, even though he is in solitary confinement, with his every move monitored by cameras.
In September 2004, Amir’s family claimed that he had married Trembovler by telephone after obtaining permission from two rabbis.