On November 4, 1995, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Prime Minister of Israel was killed on the steps of a city hall in Tel Aviv, taking three rounds to the chest and dying later in the hospital.
Yitzhak Rabin had an extensive military career before his entry into politics. As a new recruit, he participated in the invasion of Lebanon in 1941. By 1943 he was in control of his own platoon, and was known for staying updated on the modern tactics of the time. He continued to climb the ladder–after some trouble with the British in 1947, where they detained him for 5 months, he returned to become a Battalion Commander. He eventually became a general, and by 1964 was appointed as the chief of staff for the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). His extensive combat experience was undeniable, from WWII to fighting in Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
Rabin was the Prime Minister of Israel for two terms: his first stretching from 1974-1977, and the second starting in 1992 and ending with his death in 1995.
Under his leadership, the dramatic Operation Entebbe happened–a hostage rescue operation carried out by IDF commandos. An Air France plane had been hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, demanding the release of 40 prisoners in Israeli custody and 13 prisoners who were imprisoned internationally. During the night rescue mission, five Israeli commandos were wounded and their commander was killed. Three hostages were killed, the remaining 102 were rescued.
Rabin was instrumental in producing and signing the Oslo Accords, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It essentially gave Palestinians an interim self-government, as well as the control they have in regions of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This was a controversial decision, especially among Israelis and even some Palestinians, including the fundamentalist group, Hamas.
On November 4th, Rabin was walking away from a rally in support of the Oslo Accords. He was headed to his car when right-wing extremist Yigal Amir pulled a handgun and shot at the Prime Minister three times. He was toting a Beretta 84F .380 ACP and one round hit his bodyguard, wounding him superficially. The other two landed in Rabin’s chest. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was dead in under an hour. One of his lungs had been punctured and he had sustained heavy blood loss.
Amir was overpowered by bodyguards and is now serving a life sentence in Israel. His brother and friend were also deemed accomplices, and Amir himself had already attempted to assassinate Rabin three times, but the plan had fallen through at the last-minute each time.
Featured image courtesy of AP Images.
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