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Former Israeli President Yitzhak Navon died

Navon was Israel’s first Sephardic president. He served as the fifth president of the country from 1978 to 1983.

Nov 13, 2015 14:16 IST
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Yitzhak Navon, who served as the fifth president of Israel, died on 6 November 2015 in Jerusalem. He was 94.

Navon was Israel’s first Sephardic president. He served as the fifth president of the country from 1978 to 1983 as a member of the center-left Alignment party.

Born in 1921, Navon joined the pre-state Betar movement when he was 12. Later, he enlisted in the Irgun. However, he left the Irgun at the age of 18 over ideological differences. He later joined the Haganah, which later became the Israel Defense Forces.

Navon started his career as the second secretary at the Israeli legation in Uruguay and Argentina. In 1951, he joined the Mapai political party and was appointed David Ben-Gurion’s political secretary. In the following year, he was appointed Ben-Gurion’s bureau chief. Between 1963 and 1965, Navon served as the department head at the Education and Culture Ministry. In 1965, Navon was elected to the Knesset as a member of Ben-Gurion’s Rafi party. Navon served as deputy Knesset speaker and chaired the Knesset Committee on Foreign and Defense Affairs for seven years.

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