Former minister, labor union head Yisrael Kessar dies at 88
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Former minister, labor union head Yisrael Kessar dies at 88

President Rivlin eulogizes former Labor MK who was behind several integral transportation projects, thanks him for his decades of public service

Yisrael Kessar gives a speech in 1984. (Ya'akov Sa'ar/GPO)
Yisrael Kessar gives a speech in 1984. (Ya'akov Sa'ar/GPO)

Former minister and secretary general of the Histadrut labor federation Yisrael Kessar died on Sunday at the age of 88.

Kessar was appointed deputy prime minister and transportation minister in 1992 by then-premier Yitzhak Rabin, serving for four years in the government posts.

He oversaw the Route 4 tunnel project in Jerusalem as well as the expansion of Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway, the building of the Carmel tunnels in Haifa, and the overhaul and expansion of Ben Gurion Airport.

Prior to his time in the cabinet, he served as an MK for three terms, from 1984, for the Alignment Party and the Labor Party that succeeded it.

President Reuven Rivlin eulogized Kessar in a statement, thanking him for his many years of public service. “His many years of work for the people and the state… will inspire public servants wherever they are,” the president said.

The Labor party called him a “public figure with great social sensitivity and a true reformer, who has contributed to more than 50 years of considerable work in many areas of our lives. His inspiration will be sorely missed by us all.”

Kessar died in his hometown of Rishon Lezion and is survived by a wife and two children.

His funeral will be held on Monday at 4:00 p.m. in Rishon Lezion.

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