This Week in History: Hitler and Bin Laden die

Premium special: A glimpse into historical moments in Israeli news from 'The Jerusalem Post' Page 1 archives.


On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler died. He is believed to have shot himself to death at his command post in Berlin, when he realized he was losing the war. His wife, Eva Braun -- whom he had married several days earlier -- committed suicide with him, by taking cyanide. There are, however, conspiracy theories surrounding the couple's death - including a new book that claims that Hitler fled to South America, where he died in 1984.

Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a US-led operation involving helicopters and troops, less than two hours' drive from Islamabad. Bin Laden was killed inside a mansion near a Pakistani military training academy in the town of Abbotabad. “Justice has been done, US President Barack Obama told the American public, with the completion of the ten-year mission to hold bin Laden accountable for masterminding the September 11 attacks. 

On May 2, 1989, late PLO Leader Yasser Arafat declared that the PLO charter "null and void", drawing mixed reactions across the Israeli political spectrum. The Charter, which brands the state of Israel as "illegal," underwent changes in 1993, following an exchange of letters between Arafat and late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. In this exchange, Arafat sent Rabin a letter in which he unequivocally stated that the PLO recognizes Israel's right to exist in peace and security, committed itself to a peaceful resolution of the conflict and renounced the use of terrorism and other acts of violence. Rabin accordingly responded to Arafat, confirming Israel's decision to "recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and commence negotiations with the PLO within the Middle East peace process." These letters culminated in the Oslo Accords, shaken on by Rabin and Arafat, and signed by then-foreign minister Shimon Peres and his counterpart at the time, Mahmoud Abbas. 

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