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Cablegate: Rabin Assassination: Sitrep No. 1

O 050954Z NOV 95 ZFF4
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM NIACT IMMEDIATE
SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 1940

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


NOTE: NOT PASSED TO ABOVE ADDRESSEE(S)

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