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Former Israeli president Yitzhak Navon dies at 94

Published 07/11/2015

Yitzhak Navon, Israel's fifth president, has died
Yitzhak Navon, Israel's fifth president, has died

Yitzhak Navon, who served as Israel's fifth president, has died. He was 94.

His family said he died Saturday.

Navon was a top aide to Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion. Later he embarked on a political career in the Labour Party. He served as president between 1978 and 1983 and had a lengthy term as education minister. He left politics in 1992 and became a successful author and playwright.

Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog remembered Navon as a member of Israel's founding generation who "built our national home with their own hands". Centrist Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid called him a "moderating, embracing, respecting voice that is so missing these days".

Navon was born in Jerusalem to a Sephardi family descended from Spanish Jews expelled in the inquisition of 1492.

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