Ceremonies and memorial services marking the 17th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin were set to be held on Sunday at locations across the country.
At 3 p.m. a formal ceremony was scheduled to take place at Rabin’s grave on Mount Herzl, in Jerusalem, for the slain leader and his wife Leah, who passed away on November 12, 2000. The ceremony will be attended by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government and military leaders.
A special memorial session will be held at the Knesset at 5:00 p.m.
Schools across the country marked the day by holding ceremonies and addressing the death in special discussions and workshops. This year’s theme is “Mutual responsibility and solidarity.”
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar was set to participate along with 500 representatives of youth movements in a youth memorial to be held in Or Yehuda.
On Saturday night, an estimated 20,000 people participated in a massive rally at Rabin Square. The event, which took place at the very spot where Rabin was shot three times on November 4, 1995, by right-wing extremist Yigal Amir, was organized by the Dror Israel youth group, and titled “Remembering the murder, fighting for democracy.”
Rabin served as Israel’s chief of staff during the Six Day War in 1967. Other posts that he held during his career included ambassador to the US, defense minister and prime minister.
In 1994, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with then-foreign minister Shimon Peres and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat for his part in signing the Oslo Peace accords.
Israel’s Reform movement announced Sunday that the anniversary of Rabin’s death would be marked by a day of fasting. According to the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism’s website, the ruling was based on the same principle by which the Fast of Gedaliah was declared by the Talmud to be a day of fast.
Gedaliah was the Jewish governor appointed by the Babylonians to govern Jerusalem after the destruction of the First Temple in the year 586 BCE. His assassination by a fellow Jew effectively ended Jewish rule in Israel until the rise of the Second Temple some 70 years later.
The head of IMPJ, Rabbi Gilad Kariv, last Thursday officially joined the list of the Labor Party, which was Rabin’s party, and will vie in Labor’s primary election for a spot on its Knesset list.