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Famed IDF veteran Avigdor Kahalani in serious condition with bacterial infection

Ichilov hospital says no danger to life of decorated war hero who was also a Knesset member and minister

Avigdor Kahalani speaks at the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism ceremony in Jerusalem, May 29, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Avigdor Kahalani speaks at the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism ceremony in Jerusalem, May 29, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Famed Israel Defense Forces veteran Brig. Gen. (res.) Avigdor Kahalani has been hospitalized in serious condition with Group A streptococcal infection, with Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv saying Tuesday that his life was not in danger.

“He’s strong, he’ll defeat everything,” his son Dror told Radio 103FM on Wednesday, thanking the public for their prayers and support and saying his father’s condition was now stable.

“They’re still trying to find the exact location of this terrible bacterium,” Dror said. “He’s conscious and on painkillers to reduce the inhuman level of pain.”

He said his father had initially suffered from intense back pain and that some time had passed before they realized it was a bacterial infection.

“They’re trying to give him the right treatment. His life is not in danger. They will get him out of intensive care,” Dror said.

Kahalani, 77, a former commander of the IDF’s 7th Armored Brigade, fought in several wars, was injured in battle during the Six Day War in 1967 and received the Medal of Valor — the highest Israeli military decoration — for his role in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Avigdor Kahalani (bearded) and his crew in 1973 (Courtesy: IDF)

After ending a decades-long military career in 1989, Kahalani joined the Labor party and became a Knesset member in 1992. After trying and failing to become Tel Aviv mayor, he left Labor in 1995 and reentered Knesset a year later as the head of The Third Way, a centrist party.

He was public security minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister.

He quit politics after failing to be reelected to Knesset in 1999, and headed the United for Israel’s Soldiers nonprofit from 2007 to 2015.

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