'I almost killed Yigal Amir'

Shin Bet agent recalls the moments after Rabin assassination when he almost gunned down Rabin's assassin, Yigal Amir.

David Rosenberg,

Yigal Amir
Yigal Amir
Flash90

Twenty-one years after Yigal Amir, a 25-year old law student from Herzliya, murdered Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a member of the Rabin’s security entourage recalled the day of the assassination and the difficult choice he faced after the killing.

Speaking to i24News to promote the new English translation of his book “Words Can Kill: The Untold Story of the Rabin Assassination and the Lessons for Today”, veteran Shin Bet agent Dvir Kariv, who once guarded the late Prime Minister, recalled the day of the murder.

"Only two months before [the assassination] I had gotten married, and on my wedding day Rabin wished us success in our professional life - which was safe-guarding his life."

When, on November 4th, 1995, Amir approached Rabin after a political rally in Tel Aviv and shot him to death, Kariv and his fellow Shin Bet agents were initially unable to grasp what had happened. Having been trained primarily to deal with threats stemming from Arab terrorists, the idea of a Jewish gunman killing the Prime Minister was unthinkable to the agency.

"It simply didn't make sense that a Jew would murder the Prime Minister, that someone from my own people would do that. It's like a son murdering his father, it's like a human biting a dog."

After the killing, Kariv said, he very nearly killed the assassin, Yigal Amir, but held himself back, worried that he would simply turn him into a martyr.

"It was the hardest decision of my life. Today I even wish him a long life, because as long as he lives, this open wound will keep on bleeding. If I would have shot him, he would have become a martyr."

"Two months later I found myself making coffee for the person who murdered him. Now after all these years the murderer's laughter still echoes in me."




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