The Nazareth District Court permitted Thursday the killer of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to respond to journalists' questions on Ynet's request, putting an end to Yigal Amir's long media silence.
Amir was at court for a hearing on extending his 15-year in solitary confinement, more than any other prisoner in Israel at this time.
"There is no doubt that the request to detain me in solitary confinement stems from a vengeful decision," he said. "They should say so explicitly – we wish to punish Yigal Amir in another way."
Upon Amir's arrival at the hearing, Ynet's correspondent approached him and asked whether he was allowed to talk to the media. After he indicated he could not, the correspondent turned to the judge and asked why Amir was not permitted to talk to journalists out of his jail cell.
The State's representative, attorney Idit Amir, initially objected to Ynet's request, saying that three officials told her an interview with Amir was out of bounds. Ynet also learned that the Shin Bet refused to allow Amir to be interviewed.
The hearing was suspended for 10 minutes to allow the attorney to further consult on the issue. Upon the session's resumption, she indicated that Amir may be asked several questions. The court's president, Justice David Heshin, accepted the State's position and allowed journalists to talk to Amir at the end of the hearing.
Have you had a moment of regret in the past 15 years? Do you feel that you regret what you did?
This is a question that warrants a much deeper conversation. I cannot respond to it this way.
How do you address the fact that your attorney, Avi Moscowitz, said that a man held in solitary confinement is not a dangerous person, but rather, a miserable person?
The definition of "miserable" is subjective.
Your attorney has said that what's being done to you is commensurate with shadowy regimes.
There is no doubt that this vengeful decision has to do with extra considerations; if the purpose here is to punish, they should say so. They should say so explicitly – we wish to punish Yigal Amir in another way – just like they legislated a special law for my sake, just like my sentence cannot be mitigated, just like I was prevented from getting married for three years, just like they prevented conjugal visits from me and prevented me from having children. Everything was done on the pretense of security arguments, so they also said I constitute a danger and that it's dangerous to place me alone in a room with somebody else. And what happened since then? I got married, thank God, and I have a child.
They seek to take revenge on you for the Shin Bet's screw up?
It doesn’t matter. I don't even know if it's rational; it's simply more convenient for them to have me watched closely. I am not a security threat. I never encountered a prisoner who cursed at me – the opposite is true, I was with Arab security prisoners and I get along well with everyone.
So what are you asking for?
They are the ones asking to keep me in solitary confinement. I did not ask. I don't have a right to anything and I'm not asking for anything. They're asking to extend my solitary confinement every six months…but what kind of a security threat do I pose? Here I am with you and I can disseminate my views, yet I'm not doing it. Are you even familiar with the views I hold? Does anybody here know them? You just have a certain stereotype.
Amir slams State (Photo: Zoom Out)
Later, Amir said he does not fear for his personal safety, as he is no different than any other prisoner.
"I wish to be held in a wing where I can pray, like a normal human being, at the synagogue, like any other prisoner. They can't just discriminate against me for the hell of it. If they wish to discriminate against me they should say so – we wish to discriminate against Yigal Amir – you should legislate a special law for my sake.
The decision on whether to extend Amir's solitary confinement will be made by Justice Heshin in the coming weeks.