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Former minister and MK Aharon Abuhatzira dies at 82

Morocco-born politician is buried in Ramle, where he served as mayor in the 1970s; PM hails his support for disenfranchised

Aharon Abuhatzira (courtesy)
Aharon Abuhatzira (courtesy)

Former government minister and Knesset member Aharon Abuhatzira died Tuesday. He was 82.

During his political career, Abuhatzira was a lawmaker for the National Religious Party, his own breakaway faction called Tami, and the Likud between 1974 and 1992.

He served as minister of religious services, immigration and absorption, and labor and social welfare.

He was buried Wednesday in Ramle, where he served as mayor in the 1970s.

“He loved the Jewish nation, the Land of Israel and the Torah, and led important social work for the weaker parts [of society] out of a true sense of duty,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted on Tuesday evening.

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the Abuhatzira family.

“In my conversations with him, I was always impressed by his sharp mind and warm heart. For years he served as a voice to many citizens whose voices have not been heard,” Netanyahu said.

MK Aharon Abuhatzira during the first plenary session of the 12th Knesset, November 21, 1988. (SAAR YAACOV/GPO)

Abuhatzira, born in Morocco, was first elected to the Knesset in 1974 under the National Religious Party.

In 1980, he was indicted for accepting bribes, from which he was later acquitted. He was indicted again in 1982, for larceny, breach of trust, fraud and conspiracy to commit a crime. He was convicted and sentenced to three months of community service.

Abuhatzira resigned from the government following his sentencing but continued to serve as an MK under Tami. He later joined the Likud, where he served his final political term between 1988 to 1992.

Hundreds gathered at his funeral on Wednesday, including Shas leader Aryeh Deri and Shas MK Uriel Buso, Abuhatzira’s nephew.

No representatives from the current government attended, according to the Ynet news site.

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