Settler leader Porat was 'dedicated' to Israel

A leading figure of Israel's right-wing is being mourned today.

Hanan Porat, a former Knesset member and one of the founders of the settler movement, was 67 and was suffering from cancer.

Rabbi Porat set up the Gush Emunim movement in the wake of the Six Day war to encourage Jewish families to move to the West Bank. The movement, which no longer exists, was named for the Hebrew phrase "the bloc of the faithful".

An MK for nearly 20 years (with a four-year-gap), he was also one of those involved in returning Jewish life to the city of Hebron, where Jews were driven out by Arab extremists in 1929.

He will be buried at Kfar Etzion in the West Bank, which was a thriving kibbutz before it was captured by the Jordanian army in 1948.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to Rabbi Porat's dedication to building Israel and to religious Zionism.

"This fervour did not lessen and accompanied him until his last day," he said.

    Last updated: 5:31pm, October 5 2011