Thousands attended a rally in Tel Aviv to mark the 20th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Paul Chapman reports.
Thousands of Israelis packed the Tel Aviv square where prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated 20 years earlier. He was killed by an ultra-nationalist Jew opposed to Rabin's interim peace talks with the Palestinians. Rabin's efforts earned him and late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat the Nobel Peace Prize. U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking on a giant screen, told the crowd Rabin's dream was not dead. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "In these difficult days for Israelis, for Palestinians, and for the region, Yitzhak's life, his dream, inspire us still." Rabin's death stunned the nation and dashed international hopes that the former general might achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Former U.S president Bill Clinton, who attended Saturday's rally in person, helped broker the 1993 Oslo interim peace talks between Rabin and Arafat. (SOUNDBITE)(English) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON SAYING: "The next step will be determined by whether you decide that Yitzhak Rabin was right, that you have to share the future with your neighbours, that you have to give their children a chance too, that you have to stand for peace, that the risk for peace is not as severe as the risk of walking away from it." Rabin's death had a lasting impression on many of those who attended the memorial rally. (SOUNDBITE)(English) TZIPI LIVNI, ISRAELI RESIDENT, SAYING: "I really was hoping that there will be change and with that bullet, or those bullets, I feel that and I see that the hope is gone." (SOUNDBITE)(English) ANIT CRANDELL, ISRAELI RESIDENT, SAYING: "I pray that the future will bring good things and better things and peace, obviously, but nobody knows, we can only hope for the best." The rally was part of a week of commemorations as Israel faces one of the worst waves of Palestinian violence in decades. The latest bloodshed's fuelled in part by tensions over a holy site in Jerusalem sacred to Muslims and Jews.