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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Nov. 7, 1995, V3, #202
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Laid to Rest in Jerusalem

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin -- an officer, politician, builder, and peacemaker -- was laid to rest Monday in Jerusalem, the city of his birth and the city where he fought.

An automobile draped in black carried the late Prime Minister's casket from the Knesset Building to the site of its final resting place in the section of Mount Herzl Cemetery reserved for national leaders. Rabin's casket passed silently by the government complex and through the streets of Jerusalem that were lined by onlookers.

At the opening of the funeral ceremony, all of Israel paused during a two-minute long siren sounded throughout the country. President Ezer Weizman was the first among many who delivered eulogies, calling the late Prime Minister one of the greatest among the generation which fought for the establishment of the State of Israel.

In an emotional address, Jordan's King Hussein said, "I have never thought that the moment would come like this when I would grieve the loss of a brother, a colleague and a friend."

U.S. President Bill Clinton said the people of the United States mourned a great man. Clinton concluded by reading the Kaddish prayer of mourning, emphasizing that the prayer speaks not about death, but about peace.

Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres said in the past three years, Rabin promised a new set of priorities -- an obligation which has been fulfilled. "A new wind of peace is blowing. The Middle East is being raised by a new coalition supported by a wide global coalition whose representatives came today to Mount Herzl," Peres said.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called Rabin a genuine hero of peace whose departure was premature and happened at a crucial time. "We must redouble our efforts and reaffirm our obligations to peace," Mubarak said.

Eitan Haber, who served as Rabin's Chief of Staff, noted that Prime Minister Rabin died minutes after singing the Song of Peace. He took out the blood-stained text of the song which Prime Minister Rabin had used and said the late Prime Minister's blood had covered the words of peace.

The late Prime Minister's granddaughter, Noa, said she preferred to speak not about the peace, but about her grandfather. "Few knew you, though many speak of you," she said. "Grandfather, you were, and still are our own private hero."

World Leaders Attend Funeral, Express Condolences

Dozens of world leaders attended the funeral of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The heads of state and dignitaries included: U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, U.S. President Bill Clinton, former U.S. Presidents George Bush and Jimmy Carter, King Hussein of Jordan, Crown Prince Hassan, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, Moroccan Prince Sidi Muhammed, Prince Charles of Great Britain, British Prime Minister John Major, and Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin. A delegation of Palestinian officials also attended the funeral.

In a cable to President Ezer Weizman, Pope John Paul II expressed his hope that the assassination would not damage the peace process.

A joint announcement released by foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain expressed condolences to the Rabin family and to the people of Israel.

"We are sorry for what happened to Israel's Prime Minister and are convinced that the peace process will continue. We hope that the incident will affect the whole world and bring a unification of efforts to ensure that peace will replace bloodshed," the announcement read.

King Hassan II of Morocco sent a personal message to the Israeli government, saying that he had lost a friend.

The Israeli Government: Legal Situation

Article 25(b) of the Basic Law: The Government states: "If the Prime Minister has died, the Government shall designate another of the Ministers who are members of the Knesset to be Interim Prime Minister pending the constitution of the new Government."

The law states in article 23(b) that: "If the Prime Minister dies, the Government shall be deemed to have resigned on the day of his death."

Such resignation does not mean that a new Knesset election must be held, but rather that a new government must be formed. In such an event, the law provides, the President initiates the procedure to form such a new government. The outgoing government continues to function as the government until the new one is formed.

Once a new government is formed, it will have to be presented to the Knesset, announce its basic guidelines and the list of ministers, and request the confidence of the Knesset. This entire procedure can, legally speaking, be completed within several days.


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