5th Israel Prime Minister. He served twice as Prime Minister of Israel, first from 1974 to 1977, then from 1992 until he was assassinated in 1995 by a right-wing Israeli, Yigal Amir, who opposed his government's signing of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians. The first Israeli-born Prime Minister, and the second to die in office, he was born in Jerusalem, in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine, of Russian-Jewish parents. He grew up in Tel Aviv, and in 1940 graduated with distinction from the Kadoori Agricultural High School. With the exception of some military training courses in Great Britain, this was the last of his formal schooling. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Kibbutz Ramat Yochanan, where he was trained as an irrigation engineer. In 1941, he joined the Haganah, and within six years, had become the Chief Operations Officer of the Haganah, then fighting for Israel's independence. During the 1948 War of Independence, he directed Israeli operations in Jerusalem and fought the Egyptian Army in the Negev Desert. After Israel won its independence, he married Lea Schlossberg, an East German born Jewish woman, who had come to Palestine as a small child with her parents. By 1964, he became the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army. In 1967, as the senior Israeli General, he oversaw the Six-day War, in which Israel took control of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. The next year, he retired from the Army, and was appointed Ambassador to the United States, a position he held until 1973. In 1974, the ruling Labor Party named him to succeed Prime Minister Golda Meir. During the next three years, he attempted to find peace with the varying Arab nations around Israel, but the height of his popularity occurred with his authorization of the 1976 Entebbe, Uganda, raid, in which Israeli commandos rescued more than 100 Israelis from a plane hijacked by Palestinians. The next year he was forced to resign as Prime Minister, when his wife's illegal US bank account was revealed, and Shimon Peres assumed the leadership of the Labor Party. After six years, in 1984, he returned to government, accepting the job of Defense Minister, and in 1992, he again became Prime Minister, as the Labor Party returned to power. The next year, Rabin, Peres and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed the first Israel-PLO Peace Agreement, and the three men shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. Also in 1994, he signed a peace treaty with Jordan's King Hussein, ending their 46-year state of war. The next year, he signed a second accord, expanding Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank, a move that angered many right-wing Israelis. He was murdered just after attending a rally promoting the Oslo peace process. A judicial inquiry found that Yigal Amir had assassinated Rabin alone, a decision that many Israelis do not accept, preferring to believe in several conspiracy theories. After his death, the place of Rabin's assassination in Tel Aviv was renamed from "Kings of Israel Square" to "Yitzhak Rabin Square."
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson