No Rabin memorial rally planned this year


Israel will not hold an official memorial rally to the slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin this year for the first time.

This November will mark 16 years since the Labour leader was killed by a right-wing Jewish extremist during a peace rally.

Every year since, thousands of supporters have gathered in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to mark the anniversary and express support for efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. US president Bill Clinton addressed the crowd at the tenth anniversary event.

But his daughter Dalia revealed that there would be no event this year for a combination of financial reasons, a lack of public enthusiasm and because the square itself is being renovated.

She told Israel's Army Radio that other options were being discussed and added: "Standing before an empty square would not bring respect to me or my father.

"After 15 years, [it is] time for a new format."

Mr Rabin died less than a year after he had negotiated a historic peace treaty which made Jordan the only Arab country other than Egypt to recognise Israel. His efforts to bring about the Oslo Accords led to him being awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize together with Shimon Peres and Yasir Arafat.

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