Former Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir Dead at 96
Mr. Shamir “led Israel with a deep loyalty to the nation,” says PM Netanyahu
Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir died on Saturday at the age of 96.
Born Yitzhak Jazernicki in Poland in 1915, Shamir moved to pre-Israel Palestine in 1935.
He was Israel’s prime minister for seven years, from 1983-84 and again from 1986-92. His term was marked by the Palestinian uprising and the 1991 Gulf war, during which Iraq fired dozens of Scud missiles onto Israeli soil.
Mr. Shamir “led Israel with a deep loyalty to the nation,” said current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement made upon hearing the news of Shamir’s death.
Shamir served as prime minister longer than anyone other than David Ben-Gurion, and preached a strong sense of Zionism and expansive settlement in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and, during his time in office, the Jews living in in the occupied territories enjoyed an increase of almost 30 percent. He also did everything he could to help promote a strong wave of aliyah by Soviet Jews.
The late prime minister entered Israel’s political opposition when Yitzhak Rabin became prime minister in 1992. Mr. Shamir retired from politics a few years later, at 81.