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Last Updated: Friday, 4 November 2005, 14:58 GMT
Israel marks Rabin assassination
Shimon Peres lays flowers on Rabin's grave
Israeli Vice PM Shimon Peres lays flowers at Rabin's grave
Israelis have begun to mark the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Rabin was shot at a Tel Aviv peace rally by right-wing activist Yigal Amir, who was enraged by his decision to make peace with the Palestinians.

Official commemorations will be held in 10 days' time, on the anniversary according to the Jewish calendar.

On Friday, Rabin's surviving family members and close friends gathered at his grave on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

Among those who attended the ceremony of remembrance was Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

Yitzhak Rabin

Rabin, Mr Peres and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shared the Nobel Peace Prize for initiating the Oslo accords.

This was the peace process, based on a 'land for peace' principle, that led to mutual recognition between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel, and the formation of Palestinian Authority. It has largely been supersede by the Middle East 'roadmap' and Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.

Dozens of events

Several hundred people also gathered at the square in Tel Aviv, later renamed after Rabin, where he was fatally wounded after attending a peace rally.

Black balloons also formed the number 10 in the square.

Flowers marked the spot where he stood as his assassin struck.

On Thursday, Israeli President Moshe Katsav lit a memorial candle at a ceremony with the Rabin family members.

Dozens of other events are planned to take place across the country over the next two weeks, culminating with a rally in Rabin Square on 14 November with former US President Bill Clinton and a state memorial ceremony.

Crucial event

According to a poll published by the Maariv newspaper, Israelis see Rabin's assassination as the third most important event in the history of their country, after the 1973 Yom Kippur and the 1967 Middle East war.

Rabin attracted both support and fierce anger for his decision to sign the Oslo accords.

Yigal Amir - who opposed the 1993 Oslo peace accord - has never publicly expressed regret for the killing, and according to recent reports is seeking a retrial.

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