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Ex-Senior Israeli Official Holds Netanyahu Responsible for Rabin’s Assassination

Ex-Senior Israeli Official Holds Netanyahu Responsible for Rabin’s Assassination

Tuesday, 19 October, 2021 - 06:00
PM Naftali Bennett delivers a speech at the memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin in Jerusalem on Monday, October 18, 2021. (Reuters)

A former senior Israeli government official has held ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for the assassination of his predecessor Yitzhak Rabin.

The official investigation committee formed after the assassination addressed negligence in Rabin’s security but did not investigate what paved the way for this crime, the official stressed.

Shimon Sheves, former general director and chief of staff during Rabin's time in office, said Israel’s premiers still face the risk of being assassinated.

“If those who created the atmosphere for the assassination are not held accountable, then the next target is inevitable.” He underscored incitement against the current PM, Naftali Bennett, and the alternative PM, Yair Lapid, that could most probably lead to their assassination.

“Netanyahu refused to accuse Rabin of treason, but he did nothing to stop the bloody incitement,” Sheves said, in response to a question about the reason for accusing Netanyahu of being responsible for the assassination, knowing that he repeatedly told his audience that Rabin should not be accused of treason.

Netanyahu also participated in festivals and demonstrations where slogans accusing Rabin of treason were raised.

Protesters raised pictures showing Rabin putting Yasser Arafat’s “keffiyeh” and wearing the uniform of an officer in Germany’s Nazi because he signed the Oslo Accords, Sheves explained, accusing Netanyahu of listening willingly to the campaigns of incitement against Rabin.

He also blamed Rabin’s companion and his deputy at the time, Shimon Peres, who became interim prime minister, for covering up the incitement issue. According to Sheves, Peres was afraid of expanding the scope of the investigation and was occupied by the early elections held then.

Therefore, Rabin’s right was lost, along with Israel’s opportunity to hold accountable those responsible for spreading an atmosphere of division and hatred that paved the way for the assassination, he noted.

Memorial events were held Monday in Israel to mark 26 years since Rabin’s assassination.

Bennett and other top Israeli officials attended the official ceremony at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl national cemetery, except for Netanyahu.

Rabin’s family has accused Netanyahu of playing a part in public incitement against Rabin before his death. Netanyahu has regularly rejected the allegations.

Rabin was assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv’s Kings Square in 1995. He was reportedly shot in the arm and back by the extremist far-right activist Yigal Amir, who said he had no regrets.

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