88-year-old Holocaust survivor becomes first Israeli coronavirus death

Aryeh Even rebuilt his life in Israel after emigrating from Hungary in 1949



An 88-year-old Holocaust survivor became the first Israeli to die of coronavirus on Friday, the Israeli Health Ministry has said.

Aryeh Even died at 9 pm on Friday in the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem.

Mr Even, who had underlying health conditions, was admitted in a critical condition to the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, where his condition deteriorated.

He was buried on Saturday night at Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul cemetery, in a ceremony that was capped at twenty mourners due to Israel’s strict coronavirus restrictions.

Mourners were restricted to standing two metres apart, while undertakers were dressed in full protective suits.

Mr Even, a Holocaust survivor, arrived in Israel alone from Hungary in 1949.

His grandson told Israeli daily Maariv that Mr Even had been able to rebuild his life after the Holocaust in Israel.

Mr Even, with his wife Yona, were dispatched by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on diplomatic postings abroad part of his career as a civil servant.

“He was a beloved and dear man, lived a full life, was dedicated to his family and showed strength until his very last moments,” his son said in a statement given to Haaretz.

“We lament that he had to spend his last moments without his family by his side. We would like to thank the medical staff at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Centre for their devoted treatment and the empathy they demonstrated.”

Families are not able to be at the bedsides of loved-ones hospitalised with coronavirus, due to fears of infection.

Mr Even had been hospitalised after contracting coronavirus at the Migdal Nofim care home in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Hayoyel.

Six other residents have also been tested positive for coronavirus, one of whom is reported to be in a severe condition.

A social worker at the facility was tested positive for coronavirus last week. All other Migal Nofim residents are currently in isolation.

Mr Even is survived by four children, 18 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

On Sunday, the Israeli Health Ministry reported that the country had 945 confirmed coronavirus cases. A Greek pilgrim had previously died of the disease in Israel.

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