Former Israel president Yitzchak Navon dies


Yitzhak Navon, Israel's fifth President has died aged 94.

He was buried on Sunday, at the cemetery of Nation’s Great on top of Mount Herzl.

Mr Navon who was the country’s first president to be born in Jerusalem, died on Saturday morning.

At his funeral President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and former president Shimon Peres were in attendance.

The former president was eulogized by his wife, Miri Shafir, and Mr Netanyahu.

In his eulogy, the prime minister said Mr Navon was "a jewel that adorned our capital, Jerusalem."

He said: "From his first days to his last, over nine-and-a-half decades, Jerusalem plucked at the strings of his heart."

Mr Navon was born in 1921 into a Sephardi family who has lived in the city for over 300 years.

As president from 1978 to 1983, he became the first to visit an Arab state, in October 1980 when he traveled to Egypt.

The former president was best known for his work to bridge ethnic gaps, including relationships between between Jews and Arabs.

He was also a successful author and playwright and scholar of the Arabic language and of Islam, as well as Hebrew literature.

Mr Navon wrote of two musical plays and one book, titled "Six Days and Seven Gates."

At the funeral, Mr Netanyahu said: "We will remember him with a great love.”

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was sad to hear of his death.

A commonwealth spokesperson said: "The British Government is sad to learn of the death of former President Navon of Israel.

"We extend our condolences to his family, friends, and the people of Israel."

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