The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin

On November 4th, 1995, one of the worst incidents in modern Israeli history occurred. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot after a rally in Tel Aviv, by Yigal Amir.

The event was a support rally for the Oslo Agreements that were going on at the time, and the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The tension between the left and right in Israel was immense, riots for and against the agreements grew bigger and bigger on each side.


Yigal Amir was a law student and a right-wing activist who admitted during the investigation after the murder, that he truly believed the Oslo Agreements were an existential danger for the State of Israel.


After the peace rally, as Rabin made his way from the stage stairs towards his car, Amir came up close to him and fired three shots, two of them found their mark and hit Rabin and one hit his security guard. Rabin was rushed to the hospital and died from his wounds 40 minutes later.


Yitzhak Rabin was buried on Mount Herzl. Thousands attended his funeral, including 40 presidents and heads of state from all across the world. Bill Clinton ended his eulogy with the phrase "shalom haver" (goodbye friend), a phrase that would become famous in Israel afterward.

The graves of Yitzhak Rabin and his wife, Leah on Mount Herzl
The graves of Yitzhak Rabin and his wife, Leah. זאב זמיר / CC BY 2.5

Yigal Amir was sentenced to life imprisonment, another six years for shooting the security guard, and another eight years for more criminal activities. It doesn't seem like he will be seeing the light of day ever again.