Jerusalem, 4 December 1995

COMMISSION OF INQUIRY REVIEW: November 18-29, 1995

(Communicated by Justice Ministry Spokeswoman)

Over the past two weeks, since beginning its work, the State Commission of Inquiry into the murder of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has heard testimony from a series of witnesses and received a great deal of written materiel (procedures, reports etc.)

The internal investigation committee established by the head of the GSS presented its principal findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Commission, as well as its written report.

The GSS head told the Commission about the structure of the GSS, its functions and goals. In his testimony, the GSS head also discussed the activities of security personnel, and of those dealing with subversive Jewish groups. At the Commission’s request, the head of the GSS also related to reports about regarding Avishai Raviv.

The head of the GSS Security Division testified about the division’s activities and about the security arrangements at the "Yes to Peace, No to Violence" rally. Several other witnesses also testified on this matter, including the commander for the unit responsible for VIP security, the commander of the actual event, the person responsible for the unit’s operations, and the security guards who took part in the event. These witnesses testified about the formation of the security plan for the event, and about those who participated in the preparation and coordination. They further testified on the coordination between the police and the VIP security unit in the preparation and implementation phases. The Commission was told about methods used in security work in other incidents as well, and about the way the unit works.

Also testifying before the Commission were: Tel Aviv District Police Commander, Maj.-Gen. Gabi Last and the Yarkon Sub-District Commander, Commander Ya’akov Shoval, who reviewed the police deployment before and during the rally, the forces’ preparation and deployment, the coordination and division of areas of responsibility between the police and the Personnel Security Unit, as well as the ways in which the police assist the unit. They also reviewed the intelligence warnings before, and on the day of, the rally, and the resulting changes in the deployment of forces.

Two policeman, Motti Serchi and Oren Boaz, who were present in the parking lot in which Yigal Amir waited, and who saw him, also testified. Their testimony was given in open session.

In addition, the Commission dealt with the intelligence and deterrence aspects of the activities of the Police and the GSS. In this context, senior GSS officials who deal with the activities of subversive Jewish groups, appeared before the Commission. Brig.-Gen. Hezi Leder, head of the Israel Police Intelligence Department, also appeared.

In addition to these witnesses, who were invited at the Commission’s initiative, other witnesses who requested to appear before and speak to the Commission, also appeared. Mr. Shlomo Lahat, one of the organizer’s of the event, testified about the event’s organization, and MK Micha Goldman, the Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, who participated in the event, and who stood close to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, testified about his impressions of the event, the security arrangements, and the evacuation of the Prime Minister. Their testimony was also heard in open session.

The Commission also heard testimony concerning the evacuation of the Prime Minister, the medical attention which he received, and the preparations for medical care at the rally. Professor Gabi Barabash, Director of the Ichilov Medical Center, and Zvi Sher, who was in charge of the Magen David facilities at the rally, and Menachem Damati, the late Prime Minister’s driver, testified.

The Commission has received many requests from the public, including from individuals who attended the rally and security experts. These requests were studied by the Commission; several of those making requests have been or will be summoned to testify before the Commission.