Former Israeli Prime Minister dies

2012-06-30 22:50


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Jerusalem -  Former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, a former soldier, spy and statesman, has died at the age of 96, Israeli officials announced on Saturday.

"Yitzhak Shamir has left us," current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

Netanyahu "expresses his deep pain over the announcement of the departure of Yitzhak Shamir. He was part of a marvellous generation which created the state of Israel and struggled for the Jewish people," it said.

As head of the right-wing Likud bloc, which Netanyahu now leads, he served as premier from 1983 to 1984 and from 1986 to 1992. Shamir had withdrawn from public life since the mid-1990s, silenced by Alzheimer's disease.

In May 1991, he made his final appearance on the international stage at the Madrid international conference which led to peace talks between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

Following Likud's defeat to Labour in 1992 elections, Shamir retired from political life in 1996.

Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel

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