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Knesset Members Trade Barbs over Who Caused Rabin Murder

October 17, 1996
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An explosive debate erupted on the Knesset floor this week when opposition and coalition members traded accusations about who was responsible for the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

Wednesday’s fiery exchanges came less than two weeks before the first yahrzeit of Rabin’s death.

It also occurred on a day when members of the Palestinian legislative council that had been elected in January were sitting in the Knesset VIP gallery.

Their visit to the Knesset — at the invitation of the Israeli Arab-dominated Hadash Party — prompted opposition from some right-wing Knesset members.

The Palestinian Council members were brought into the gallery through a back entrance.

There was a strong security presence in the gallery. The Palestinian guests sat on one side, while Israeli families of victims of Arab terror attacks, who had been invited by the right-wing Moledet Party, sat on the other.

The explosive comments about Rabin’s death were sparked by a separate debate on a proposal by Moledet Knesset member Binyamin Alon for a commission of inquiry into who made the decision to supply Palestinian police with rifles.

Alon’s proposal came in the wake of last month’s violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, when Palestinian police fired on Israeli soldiers.

During the debate, Health Minister Tzachi Hanegbi remarked that the commission should answer other questions as well.

With this, Labor Knesset member Dalia Itzik shouted, “Such as who killed Rabin” — a reference to Labor Party allegations that the Likud Party had contributed to the violent atmosphere in Israel that preceded Rabin’s assassination.

As a series of fiery exchanges ensued, Rehavam Ze’evi of Moledet looked up into the VIP gallery and said of the Palestinian Council members, “Are they going to continue sitting there?”

With that, he left the Knesset floor — along with other legislators who were ordered out by the House Speaker.

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