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Beitar Jerusalem soccer fans chant name of Rabin's assassin

Fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team hold up a banner in Hebrew that reads “Beitar Pure Forever” during a match in Jerusalem on Jan. 26, 2012
AFP
Brother of Rabin's assassin detained over alleged incitement against Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

Days after the 20th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin murder, fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team chanted the name of Rabin's killer, Yigal Amir, during a match between the team and Maccabi Tel Aviv on Monday night.

Yigal Amir was convicted to life in prison for murdering Rabin after a peace rally in Tel Aviv in 1995.

Beitar Jerusalem is known for its racist fans, and there have been numerous incidents of fans causing disturbances during games, including a July match in Belgium between the team and Belgium’s Sporting Chaleroi where fans threw smoke bombs, flares and firecrackers onto the field.

On Tuesday, Hagai Amir, the younger brother of Rabin's assassin, was detained over a Facebook post that allegedly incited against Israel's President Reuven Rivlin.

Hagai Amir was released in 2012 after serving a 16 and-a-half year prison sentence for conspiracy to assassinate Rabin.

At the annual Ner Yitzchak memorial ceremony hosted at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on Sunday Rivlin stated that as long as he is President of Israel, Rabin's murderer will not be freed. Hagai Amir, a prolific contributor to social media, responded with an angry screed, alleging that Rivlin lacks the authority to decide his brother's fate.

"Rivlin is a typical sycophantic politician," the post read. "It's not for him to decide whether my brother is released or not, it is for the Almighty alone to decide - just as He decided that Rabin should drop dead though Rivlin and his pals were against that, just as He decided that Rivlin should become president, and He will decide, once the time is ripe, that Rivlin and the Zionist state ought to disappear from the face of the earth just as Sodom did because of the crimes they committed against their own people shielded by the law. That day is no longer far away."

This is not the first time Rivlin incurred the ire of Israel's far right. Last year he has come under fire from extremists who have taken to social media in an online campaign against his gestures of good will toward the minority Arab community in the country.

As part of the barrage of hate against the president, hardline Jewish activists posted a picture of Rivlin in the traditional keffiyeh Arab headdress, with one Facebook user saying that the president was elected with the help of "Arab fasicists."

Rivlin made history as the first incumbent Israeli president to make an official visit to the Arab village of Kafr Qasim for a ceremony marking the anniversary of the massacre of 49 of the village's residents by Israeli troops.

Read more:

Analysis: Would Rabin have brought peace with Palestinians?

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