TEL AVIV, Jan. 19 (JTA) — Just as Israelis were wondering what nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu might reveal upon his upcoming release from prison, Yigal Amir stole the title of Number One Prisoner with a bombshell of his own — or, to be precise, wedding bells. Amir has been in solitary confinement since being convicted for the 1995 murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, but he managed what many other 32-year-old bachelors find difficult, even in Israel: He found a wife. According to a report Sunday by Israel’s Channel Two television, Amir’s beloved is an Orthodox mother of four who left her husband for the student-turned-assassin. The late prime minister’s daughter, Dalia Rabin-Pelosoff, was admitted to a hospital with chest pains after learning of Amir’s planned nuptials with Larissa Trimbobbler, a 38-year-old Russian immigrant with a doctorate in philosophy. Rabin-Pelosoff’s distress echoed throughout Israel. “I would sooner go to Amir’s funeral than his wedding,” Yossi Sarid, head of the liberal Meretz party, said in a statement. Labor Party leader Shimon Peres asked the Knesset to pass a new law forever denying Amir the right to marry. That call was echoed by Yuval Steinitz, a legislator from the ruling Likud Party. Under Israeli law, any prison inmate can request that his or her living conditions be improved and can appeal to the Supreme Court if refused. Conjugal rights usually are granted — both as a nod to Jewish tradition and as a recipe for happier inmates. But in an interview with Israel Radio, Prisons Service chief Ya’acov Ganot said, “As much as possible, I plan to oppose Amir’s request to get married.” There also is the matter of logistics. Amir is confined to a 9-by-9-foot cell in Ayalon Prison, where he is under 24-hour surveillance by closed-circuit television. Consummating the marriage would seem inconceivable — or at least indiscreet. According to the Channel Two report, Amir courted Trimbobbler via mail and the occasional meeting she managed to secure by tagging along with Amir’s family on prison visits. The assassin’s mother was upbeat about the news. “I want a grandchild already,” Geula Amir told Israel’s daily Ma’ariv. Citing Prisons Service sources, the newspaper said Amir and Trimbobbler would hold their wedding ceremony for a select few guests in the prison’s mess hall. The couple then would retire to a special cell reserved for conjugal visits, where there is a double bed, a bathroom and a video suite. If Amir is thinking about a best man, his brother Haggai is not an option: Haggai is in a different prison in Israel for his complicity in the Rabin assassination, and likely would be unable to attend the wedding.
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