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Leaked Cables on Israel:
Situation Report: Rabin Assassination

(November 5, 1995)


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Classified diplomatic cables, leaked by the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, contain accounts of the first situation report released by the Embassy in Tel Aviv immediately after the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. The cable discusses the actions taken by the Israeli government to restore order and the functioning of the top levels of government.

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 017503

DEPARTMENT FOR SECRETARY, SMEC, AND NEA

WHITE HOUSE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR AND PARRIS

DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS ALL DIPLOMATIC POSTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER IS
SUBJECT: RABIN ASSASSINATION: SITREP NO. 1
0800 GMT NOVEMBER 5

¶1. PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN WAS SHOT AND KILLED IN TEL AVIV YESTERDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 4, AS HE LEFT A LARGE DOWNTOWN PEACE RALLY. HE WAS ATTACKED BY A LONE GUNMAN, AN ISRAELI STUDENT, ALTHOUGH A GROUP CALLING ITSELF THE "JEWISH VENGEANCE ORGANIZATION" HAS CLAIMED CREDIT.

¶2. THE PRIME MINISTER HAD JUST FINISHED ADDRESSING A RALLY OF OVER 100,000, ORGANIZED BY THE "PEACE NOW" MOVEMENT TO SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT IN THE PEACE PROCESS. AT 2150L (1950 GMT), AS RABIN APPROACHED A WAITING LIMOUSINE, YIGAL AMIR, A 25 YEAR-OLD LAW STUDENT, RAN FORWARD AND FIRED AT LEAST THREE TIMES AT POINT- BLANK RANGE. THE PRIME MINISTER WAS STRUCK IN THE BACK, ABDOMEN, AND CHEST, AND A SECURITY GUARD ALSO WAS WOUNDED. RABIN WAS TAKEN IMMEDIATELY BY HIS BODYGUARDS TO NEARBY ICHILOV HOSPITAL. HE ARRIVED THERE UNCONSCIOUS, WITHOUT A PULSE OR BLOOD PRESSURE. THE HOSPITAL TRAUMA UNIT ATTEMPTED IN VAIN TO REVIVE HIM, AND HE WAS DECLARED DEAD AT 2315L (2115 GMT). THE GUNMAN WAS SUBDUED ON THE SPOT. ACCORDING TO LATEST POLICE REPORTS TO THE PRESS, AMIR CLAIMS HE WAS TOLD BY GOD TO KILL THE PRIME MINISTER, AND IN RECENT WEEKS HAD FAILED IN TWO PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS TO GET CLOSE ENOUGH TO RABIN TO DO SO. HE HAS ALSO REPORTEDLY REFUSED TO EXPRESS ANY REMORSE FOR HIS ACT. WHILE A HITHERTO-UNKNOWN GROUP CALLING ITSELF THE "JEWISH VENGEANCE ORGANIZATION" (HEBREW ACRONYM "AYIN") CALLED A LOCAL RADIO STATION TO CLAIM THE CREDIT, THE KILLER REPORTEDLY HAS SAID HE ACTED ALONE.

¶3. THE ISRAELI CABINET MET IN EMERGENCY SESSION AT ABOUT 1230L NOVEMBER 5. FOREIGN MINISTER SHIMON PERES WAS NAMED ACTING PRIME MINISTER. (SEPTEL REPORTS ON CONSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR TRANSFER OF POWER.) APPEARING BEFORE THE PRESS SHORTLY THEREAFTER, AN EMOTIONAL BUT CAREFULLY CONTAINED PERES SPOKE MOVINGLY OF RABIN'S SERVICE TO HIS COUNTRY, AND OF HIS OWN DECADES-LONG RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRIME MINISTER. PERES REAFFIRMED ISRAEL'S COMMITMENT TO CONTINUE WITH THE PEACE PROCESS: "YOU CAN KILL A PERSON. YOU CAN BRING AN END TO LIFE. BUT YOU CANNOT KILL AN IDEA."

¶4. PERES DECLARED A STATE OF NATIONAL MOURNING. THE BORDERS TO GAZA AND THE WEST BANK HAVE BEEN CLOSED TO ALL BUT EMERGENCY CASES, AND THE TRUCKING OF PRODUCE, INDEFINITELY. JERUSALEM RADIO ALSO REPORTS THAT TALKS ON REDEPLOYMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF REDEPLOYMENT STEPS IN THE WEST BANK HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED, AT LEAST FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW.

¶5. RABIN'S BODY WILL BE TAKEN TO JERUSALEM AT 1300L TODAY, WHERE IT WILL LIE IN STATE ON THE KNESSET PLAZA, TO ALLOW THE PUBLIC TO PAY ITS LAST RESPECTS. THE FUNERAL WILL BE MONDAY AT 1400L. (THE RABBINATE HAS GRANTED AN EXCEPTION TO THE JEWISH STRICTURE REQUIRING BURIAL WITHIN 24 HOURS OF DEATH, IN ORDER TO ALLOW FOREIGN LEADERS TO ARRIVE FOR THE FUNERAL.)

¶6. THE ISRAELI PRESS HAS FEATURED PROMINENTLY PRESIDENT CLINTON'S ROSE GARDEN STATEMENT OF SYMPATHY AND SUPPORT, AND IS REPORTING HIS INTENTION TO ATTEND THE FUNERAL. ACCORDING TO THE LATEST MEDIA REPORTS, THE FUNERAL ALSO WILL BE ATTENDED BY THE HEADS OF STATE OF EGYPT, JORDAN, ITALY, AND PORTUGAL, THE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE UK, GERMANY, CANADA, KOREA, MALTA, AND UNSYG BOUTROS.

¶7. JERUSALEM RADIO REPORTS THAT THE CHIEF OF THE GENERAL SECURITY SERVICE, OR SHIN BET, IS RETURNING FROM OVERSEAS, AS A GSS INQUIRY CONTINUES ON HOW THE GUNMAN WAS ABLE TO PENETRATE RABIN'S SECURITY.

¶8. SEPTEL WILL ASSESS THE LOCAL REACTION TO THE MURDER. SITREPS WILL CONTINUE AS REQUIRED.


INDYK


Sources: Wikileaks

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