The Petah Tikva District Court has decided Monday to allow Yigal Amir, who is serving a life sentence for the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin,
to meet with another prisoner three times a week for prayer. Aside from these meetings, Amir is to remain in solitary confinement at least until next January.
This ruling follows another easement made by the court to Amir's prison conditions allowing the convicted killer to study
Torah with another prisoner once every two weeks.
In December 2010 the High Court of Justice supported considering whether or not to allow Amir to spend time with other prisoners while under supervision, for the purposes of praying. The HCJ also rejected Amir's appeal to be taken out of solitary confinement, but a month later the Petah Tikva District Court instructed the counsel to examine ways to lighten Amir's prison terms, after serving more than 15 years behind bars.
Amir had claimed he was discriminated against: He is held in solitary confinement, said the appeal, while other prisoners – including serial killers, security prisoners, rapists and child molesters – were not.
Following Monday's ruling Amir's attorney said they "had hoped the court would allow Yigal to get out and pray during the Jewish High Holidays."
"We're disappointed it's not so. However we're pleased for the opportunity to allow Yigal to study with a prisoner three times a week and the possibility it might turn into a group study session."
Amir attorney added he intends to request another hearing to discuss the possibility of allowing Amir to take part in a Minyan (quorum necessary for Jewish prayers), even saying he might appeal to the HCJ over the matter.
Naama Cohen-Friedman contributed to the report