Former Israeli leader Yitzhak Shamir dead at 96

The former head of state passed away on Saturday (30Jun12) after a lengthy illness. He will be laid to rest at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl Cemetery on Monday (02Jul12).

Shamir, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in his final years, was Israel’s seventh Prime Minister. He also served as the nation’s foreign minister.

A statement from President Shimon Peres, who was among Shamir’s toughest opponents in the 1980s and 1990s, reads: “He remained true to his beliefs, was a great patriot of his people and a great lover of Israel who served the nation loyally and with great dedication for many years.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu adds, “He belonged to the generation of giants that established the State of Israel and fought for the freedom of the Jewish people in its land.”