Date with history: The day peace hopes died

Ian Black marks the anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination on November 4, 1995

The World Today Updated 26 May 2021 Published 5 October 2020 2 minute READ

Ian Black

Visiting senior fellow, Middle East Centre at LSE and a former Middle East editor of The Guardian

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.’

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