Former minister and Knesset member Victor Shem-Tov passed away on Saturday at the age of 99.

Shem-Tov served as health minister in the governments of Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin in the seventies.

He was first elected to the Knesset in 1961 as a member of Mapam, a precursor to today’s Meretz party. He served as secretary-general of the party between 1979 and 1985.

Shem-Tov was “a champion of social-justice and a brave champion of peace,” Meretz leader MK Zahava Gal-on said on Saturday. “He began as a construction worker and…left his mark in all his public posts (in support of) equality, justice and human rights.”

Shem-Tov was survived by his wife, two children and four grandchildren.