Accessibility links

Israelis Observes 10 Year Anniversary of Rabin Assassination

Israelis are observing the 10 year anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. A former U.S. President was among the honored guests.

Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered at the square in Tel Aviv where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated 10 years ago. He was shot at a peace rally by an Orthodox Jew angry over his decision to hand biblical territory to the Palestinians.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton addressed the crowd. "I loved him very much and I was in awe of his ability to move from being a soldier to a peacemaker," he said.

Mr. Clinton oversaw the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in 1993, and the historic handshake between Mr. Rabin and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. "We still have to decide whether we live as brothers and sisters, whether we will share the future, share the land, share the responsibilities for our children," he said.

The peace process went down hill after the assassination and culminated in the Palestinian uprising in the year 2000. Israelis have seen more than 100 suicide bombings since then, and many believe the root of the problem is Mr. Rabin's peace agreement with Yasser Arafat.

A poll shows that 20 percent of Israelis believe that Mr. Rabin's assassin, Yigal Amir, should be pardoned.

Many right-wing Israelis accuse Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of following in Mr. Rabin's footsteps by pulling out of the Gaza Strip.

So 10 years after Mr. Rabin was killed, Israelis are as bitterly divided today as they were then over the concept of land for peace.