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Exclusive: Interview in English with Yitzhak Rabin One Month Before His Assassination, Recorded and Edited by David Essing

Yitzhak Rabin

A short time before his assassination at a peace rally in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin discussed some of the key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an exclusive interview, part of which is now broadcast for the first time. It was one of Rabin's last in-depth interviews before he was shot dead by Yigal Amir on November 4th 1995.

'I believe that in the long run, separation between Israel and the Palestinians is the best solution for resolving the Israeli Palestinian conflict.'

That was the position of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin who was assassinated by right-wing fanatic Yigal Amir at a peace rally in Tel Aviv on the night of November 4th 2005. Rabin saw the solution of Israel as a Jewish state separated form a Palestinian entity in which most Palestinians would live on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. This, in Rabins view, was the only real solution to the conflict in the long run.

Arafat had requested and Rabin approved the sending of five Hamas fugitives abroad. When Rabin was asked if he was in fact sending a conciliatory message to Hamas he retorted: 'By no means, I have got one address on the Palestinian side, Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. They are the partners for the whole peace process and they bear responsibility for whatever happens in the areas under their control.' On this score, Arafat was not doing enough top halt the terrorism.

The later Prime Minister then said Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other organizations were carrying out the attacks not the PLO. 119 Israelis had been murdered since January 1994 until shortly before Rabin was assassinated on November 4th, 2005. Rabin said 77 of these fatalities, some 70%, were killed by suicide bombers who also came from territory under IDF control. Therefore, he concluded that separation was the best solution to prevent terrorism.

When asked about his ability to set policy in light of his dwindling support in the Knesset, Rabin declared: 'Ill continue to carry out whatever we are committed to. Whatever we believe leads us to a permanent solution the way we want it, THE WAY I WANT IT.'

The night before the interview, some protesters at a big anti-Rabin rally in Jerusalem's Zion Square, had waved effigies of Rabin decked out in a Nazi uniform. When asked to comment the Prime Minister replied: 'I don't believe I have even to relate to such a criminal mind and act.'

The words of Yitzhak Rabin a short time before he was assassinated on November 4th 1995


David Essing

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