Assassination of Israeli PM that scuttled peace deal with Palestine – India Today

Posted By on May 25, 2021

Perhaps the only time Israel and Palestine came close to a workable peace deal was in the first half of 1990s. Israel began peace talks with Palestinian leaders and Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan in Spain the Madrid Conference in 1991.

The first real big breakthrough was achieved in 1993. Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) signed what is called the Oslo Peace Accord. It followed a series of secret meetings between then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The peace accord was backed by the United Nations. It was brokered by then US President Bill Clinton and announced at his official residence, the White House in September 1993.

It was at this event that Yitzhak Rabin had famously announced, Enough of blood and tears. Enough.

This declaration by Yitzhak Rabin was immensely significant as he was one of the military commanders who had led the Israeli army during the first Israel-Arab war in 1948.

Read | Chronology samajhiye: : A timeline of Israel-Palestine conflict

Yitzhak Rabin was among the founders of Israel in Palestine in 1948 and the chief of staff when Israel fought the 1967 war and took control of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem fighting against Jordan, Syria and Egypt.

When Yitzhak Rabin became Israels prime minister, he had the trust of the entire Israeli nation except a few hardliners including Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister of Israel.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (C) surrounded by army officers on a tour of the Gaza Strip side of the Erez checkpoint on May 24, 1994.


The hardliners resented the Oslo Peace Accord. On the Palestinian side, there were groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad opposing the Oslo Peace Accord. Hamas and Islami Jihad were against Yasser Arafat, opposing his moderate political approach.

Read | Why Jews created Israel in Palestine as their homeland

Suddenly, what was then perceived as minority opinions in both Israel and Palestine began aggressive campaigns. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad carried out suicide bombings in Israel. They blew up buses targeting civilians.

On the Israeli side, Benjamin Netanyahu led the charge against Yitzhak Rabin. He played to the gallery of Israeli hardliners. Reports of the time say that at some public meetings, crowds shouted slogans such as death to Rabin.

The activities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad only helped build a narrative against Yitzhak Rabin branding him as a traitor, who sought to buy peace with enemies jeopardising the lives of Jewish people.

Israel-Palestine conflict intensified after violence broke out in East Jerusalem in April. (Photo: AFP)

It was against this backdrop that Yigal Amir a 27-year-old Jewish law student who had connections to a hardliner Jewish group Eyal shot Yitzhak Rabin at a public event in the arm and the back.

Yitzhak Rabin died and Yigal Amir confessed to the assassination. Amir justified it saying the prime minister wanted to give our country to the Arabs.

Since then, Israel has been aggressive, more so under Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been the most dominant political leader in Israel in the past 20 years. In Palestine, Hamas emerged more powerful, particularly after the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004. Peace between Israel and Palestine has been the casualty as a result.

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Assassination of Israeli PM that scuttled peace deal with Palestine - India Today

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