Dictionary of Terrorism

By John Richard Thackrah | Go to book overview
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Rabin, Yitzhak

b.1922; d. 1995

Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister had been closely involved in trying to bring about a permanent peace in the Middle East through the Oslo Accords especially with Egypt and a resolution of the Palestinian crisis. In November 1995 he was murdered by a Jewish extremist Yigal Amir, who was hostile to the idea of land being given to Palestinians on the West Bank and Jewish settlements being taken down. His replacement was Benjamin Netanyahu a man with hard-line views on the whole peace process (Cooley, 2002).

Rabin had been a soldier, who turned to peace-making later in life and became pragmatic in his approach to the PLO. He had been instrumental in expelling over 400 members of Hamas to the mountains of south Lebanon, which led to a resurgence in both Hamas membership and the development of the Intifada.

Rabin's assassination was seen as the first step in a campaign of mass murder designed to disrupt the peace process. The incident occurred only a year after another ultra-nationalistic Jew, Dr Baruch Goldstein killed 29 and wounded 150 Muslim worshippers at the 'Cave of the Patriarchs' before being beaten to death. These events showed the intense religious fervour involved in the enmity towards secular government in Israel, and that in the eyes of the extremists the Oslo peace process was playing into the hands of the Palestinian moderates.

From this time radical elements reasserted themselves in Israeli politics, and the Rabin government was held responsible for the rise in suicide bombings.

Though his assassin, Yigal Amir was a loner, Rabin's murder was not committed in a vacuum but against an atmosphere in which the extreme right had incited young militants to commit acts of violence. It had the effect of bringing down the Labour government and carrying the Likud Party to power.


Reference
Cooley, J. K. (2002) Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism, London: Pluto Press.

Ramzi, Ahmed Yousef

b. 1968

Ahmed Ramzi was the individual most responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993. He was a Palestinian whose journey to the USA in 1993 began in Iraq. Yousef was at home with intellectuals, ingenious, urbane and very skilled, acting as his own lawyer at his trial in 1996. His background was somewhat shrouded in mystery due to the various forged documents that he used. At various times he was closely linked with Iraq, Pakistan, and the USA.

He had regular documentation purporting to show him to be Abdul Basit from Kuwait, which at the time of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was a ploy used by Iraqi authorities to fool the Americans into thinking he came from Kuwait.

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