On November 9, 1995, Yasser Arafat was among the mourners who gathered at the Tel Aviv apartment of Yitzhak Rabin’s widow Leah, to offer condolences after the Israeli prime minister’s assassination five days earlier. Arafat, in olive green battledress, but without his trademark keffiyeh, sat next to the grieving woman, drinking tea and displaying his limited knowledge of Hebrew.
The leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization had arrived in Tel Aviv from Gaza by helicopter. It was the first time he had set foot inside Israel since his clandestine mission to rally resistance to the occupation after the 1967 war. When a colleague broke the news of Rabin’s murder, Arafat responded: ‘Today the peace process has died.’