Hagai Amir, who helped plan the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, walks out from Ayalon prison,
Metzger said, "To be proud of participation in the murder [of Rabin] is an embarassment, a disgrace and chutzpah. It seems that sixteen and a half years was not enough time for him to learn his lesson."
Meanwhile, residents of the West Bank settlement Shavei Shomron were disturbed and surprised that Amir had chosen to spend Shabbat in their community, following his release from prison Friday morning.
After sixteen and a half years in prison for helping his brother Yigal Amir plot the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Amir walked out of Ayalon Prison in Ramle a free man. Amir chose to spend the weekend with a relative living in Shavei Shomron, rather than going to his family home in Herzliya.
Residents hung signs around the town against Amir's visit, reading, "thou shall not kill," and "murder is not our way." A resident of the community expressed disapproval of Amir's intention to visit the settlement, saying "we dissociate ourselves entirely from this visit and of course we completely dissociate ourselves from anything linked to Rabin's murder," Channel Ten reported.
"This is a completely private visit that people do not view favorably. We have no way to prevent it, but we are not pleased about it," he added.
Channel Ten quoted another resident as saying, "we would willingly pass on this visitor. This man is not welcome in this town, and would do well not to be here."
The Shavei Shomron residents were among many others bristling at Amir's release on Friday. Meretz activists and other demonstrators waited outside the prison gate in protest of his release. They held signs saying "price tag 4.11.95" and called to Amir and his family, "we won't forget and we won't forgive those who incited and murdered."
Now 43 years old, the Herzliya native has never expressed remorse for his role in the assassination, which he reiterated as he left the prison, saying he was proud of what he did and has no regrets. He held up a "V" sign with his fingers, before leaving for his parents' house.
"This is a black day for Israel," said Secretary General of Meretz Dror Morag. "Hagai Amir may have paid his legal debt, but his debt to the public will never be settled."
"Behind the Amir brothers stands an entire public of leaders and supporters who continue to incite against the Left and democracy. Meretz will not forget not forgive the murder, and will continue to work to achieve the late Rabin's vision of peace," he added.
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich also reacted to Amir's release with "nausea and disgust." His lack of remorse, the "V" sign he held up, and the victory celebrations that await him, "suggest that the seeds of violent extremism that challenges Israeli democracy, still lie concealed among us, and still threaten Israeli society," Yacimovich stated.
"We denounce the murderous brothers, and in joint efforts in the struggle for democracy... we will defeat them, and those like them," she continued. "Today we salute Yitzhak Rabin and his legacy. His legacy that knew how to combine peace, security, a deep concern for Israeli society, and an endless contribution to it."
Rabin’s granddaughter Noa Rothman (nee Ben-Artzi) posted a message on her Facebook page on Thursday that read “Hagai Amir will be released tomorrow from prison. This is how it is in a democracy, I know, but what can you do? The heart is irrational. The heart burns, especially on a day like this... Because 16 and a half years have gone by and it’s just as painful and insulting like it was yesterday.”
Elsewhere, in an interview with Israel Radio on Thursday, Kadima MK and former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter said that Hagai’s brother Yigal should have been executed for killing Rabin.