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1 Kislev 5760 - November 10, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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More Calls to Reopen Investigation of Rabin Assassination; Pointed Questions Asked

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Amid growing controversy over the handling of the investigation into the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, Rabin's children, Yuval Rabin and MK Dalia Rabin-Pelossof (Center Party), are calling for a new probe into the circumstances surrounding their father's death. The call came as the state was busy fighting a seemingly hopeless struggle to prevent certain aspects of the case from being released to the public.

Also, in a civil action brought against the State for libel, Mayor Tzvi Katzover of Kiryat Arba asked some very pointed questions. The suit is in preliminary stages, and the State has asked that it be dismissed. Katzover says that the State and its agent Avishai Raviv caused anguish and suffering to Jews and Arabs alike due to the lies that they spread. Perhaps the central question posed by Katzover is: What was the point of the whole "Champagne" project that extended over many years, cost a lot of money, caused anguish to so many Jews and Arabs, and libeled the residents of Kiryat Arba and Hebron, if in his apparent main task Raviv failed in that he did not prevent the murder of the Prime Minister?

Meir Shamgar, the retired judge who headed the commission which investigated the murder, said in an interview on Army Radio that he was not opposed to clarifying the details of the case which are still unclear to the family.

Shamgar discussed the principal unresolved question: the meaning of the shouts of "Blanks, blanks" as Rabin was shot, calling it "truly one of the points which have remained unclarified," and claimed that the question "haunts all three of [the commission members]."

In response to the public calls, Prime Minister Ehud Barak expressed full confidence in the Shamgar Commission's investigation into the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

Barak also said he will allow ministers to view the top- secret classified sections of the Shamgar Commission's report, which deal with Shin Bet operational procedures, including the employment of Avishai Raviv, an undercover agent who worked for the security service as an informer on the extreme right wing.

Barak added that if Rabin's family -- or anyone else -- wished to investigate the committee's findings, then their request would be passed on to Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein, who would then determine a further investigation was necessary.

An order issued by Justice Yaakov Turkel banning the publication of a document containing the minutes of a 1996 conversation between the state attorney, senior attorneys, and General Security Service representatives, came to naught after the document appeared on the Internet a day later. In a highly unusual move, the order not to publish the document was received by a television program during the course of its broadcast.

The conversation dealt with the 1995 videotape of the "swearing-in ceremony" of the Eyal organization, which was led by GSS agent-provocateur Avishai Raviv. It was eventually revealed that the entire ceremony was staged for the press by Avishai Raviv, the GSS agent. Later the Eyal organization with its bizarre initiation rite was held up as an example of the extreme right-wing opposition to the government.

MK Benny Elon (National Union) has called upon Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinish to suspend herself from the Court until her role in the provocative activation of GSS agent Avishai Raviv is clarified. Specifically Beinish, who was then State Prosecutor, is said to be the one who gave approval for the Shabak to activate Raviv and also closed many police files against him.

Regarding the secret Raviv document, Elon said, "The GSS was behind the [fake] Eyal organization, which [falsely] took responsibility for the murder of Arabs in Halhoul. At the time, this led to a giant wave of condemnations against the Jewish settlers, beginning with the [Rabin] government, and including even American-Jewish organizations.

"As someone who fights for civil rights, I ask: Shouldn't this be investigated? Shouldn't someone pay the price for this? Shouldn't there be an apology?

"And what about the State Prosecution? Instead of looking out for basic civil rights, they are engaged in whitewashing and in looking out for themselves. This culture of lies is simply astonishing!"

Attorney Shmuel Casper said that Israelis must be reassured that the agencies charged with ensuring law and justice in the nation are in fact not trampling the judicial process.

He said that the current "secret Raviv document" confirms his earlier suspicions that the GSS was engaging in provocations aimed at implicating otherwise innocent people.

"We had long thought that this was happening, based on the criminal files that we handle originating in Judea and Samaria . . . Now we have seen, with our own eyes, that this is in fact the case."

Meanwhile, Leah Rabin said that she also has many question marks about the assassination of her late husband. She stated she would not oppose the reopening of the investigation into her husband's murder, and that she respects her children's desire to reopen the investigation of the murder.

Extreme right-wing groups, who claim Rabin was killed as a result of a conspiracy involving the GSS, hailed Rabin- Pelosoff's remarks.

But Rabin-Pelosoff said her doubts do not legitimize the conspiracy theorists. "They don't need me to air their ideas and I repeat that I utterly rejected and continue to reject the conspiracy theories," she said. "There are lots of holes and mistakes in the facts they present."

In her La'isha interview, Rabin-Pelosoff listed the aspects of the assassination which trouble her and which, she believes, the Shamgar Commission of Inquiry failed to answer.

"We all have the feeling that they put a lid on the story by saying it was a foul-up," she said. "That's too simple.

"There are many [unanswered] questions regarding the night of the murder. For example, someone shouted [that the bullets fired by Yigal Amir were] `blanks' and there is no answer as to who it was."

Rabin-Pelosoff rejected the suggestion that the blanks story might have been based on a false rumor. "My mother heard the shouts with absolute certainty," said Rabin-Pelosoff. "She called me at home immediately after the shooting and said, `They shot Daddy, but it wasn't real.' "

She added that her mother was not the only one who heard the shouts: "When the security men took her in a separate car to the hospital, they told her the bullets weren't real. And when she asked questions, they hushed her up and didn't reply to a single one.

"There are many questions about what happened immediately after the killing: Why didn't they let my mother travel in the car with my father? Why did they take my mother from the murder scene? Why did they want to whisk her away as quickly as possible?

"Why did they tell her it was an exercise? An `exercise,' really! And what about the oh-so-vital instincts of the security men? Why didn't they shoot the killer immediately? How come they didn't open fire?"

Conspiracy theorists claim that the commission did not explain the discrepancy between the report by Chief Coroner Yehuda Hiss that Rabin had been struck in the back by two bullets and the report of the doctor who allegedly received the prime minister when he was rushed to Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital.

The physician reportedly wrote that Rabin had also been struck by a third bullet in the chest and was suffering spinal shock.

According to Shamgar, however, Dr. Barabash, head of Ichilov at the time, and Hiss, both of whom testified before the commission, presented identical reports saying that Rabin had been struck by two bullets in the back.

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