As Bill Clinton led tributes to assassinated former Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin, terror attacks continued across the country, with a 70-year old man and an 80-year old woman among those stabbed by Palestinians.
Monday saw a spate of violence, with two stabbing attacks in central Israel. In the coastal city of Netanya, a 70-year old man was seriously injured, while in Rishon Letzion, south of Tel Aviv, two men in their 20s and 30s were knifed, and 80-year-old woman was left fighting for her life, after being stabbed in the back by a bus station.
Netanya medics said a mob attacked the assailant after he was shot and immobilised, prompting a warning from police chief Barak Mordechai. “We will not allow attempts to lynch attackers,” he said. “They will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The attacks came after Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian who they say tried to stab a soldier at a checkpoint in the West Bank. An army spokeswoman said the incident occurred after the soldiers approached two Palestinians at a petrol station.
Earlier, former U.S. President Bill Clinton addressed thousands of Israelis 20 years after the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on 4 November 1995, saying: “The day he was killed was probably the worst day of my eight years as president.”
Clinton considered Rabin a good friend and the two men worked together on the Oslo Accords, which Israel signed with Yasser Arafat. Jewish extremists considered Rabin a traitor for relinquishing land to the Palestinians, and six months later he was shot and killed by a nationalist at a peace rally.
In a telling recollection, Clinton described how Rabin had once said to him: “I never want to see Israel come to a democratic crossroads where we’ll have to decide that Israel will be a Jewish but not a democratic state, or a democratic state but not a Jewish state.”
Earlier, Rabin’s son Yuval said: “My father’s lifelong mission was to make a lasting impact on his country by providing security, reinforcing democratic values, building bridges between communities, allowing equal opportunity through education.”