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February 16, 2015 11:00 am

Israeli Minister Uri Orbach Dies After Losing Battle With Blood Disease

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Israel's Senior Citizen's Minister Uri Orbach died on Monday after battling a rare blood disease. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.– Israeli Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi), 54, died Monday at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he had been hospitalized for more than a month.

Orbach had suffered from a serious blood disorder for years and was hospitalized in January after his condition took a turn for the worse. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Uri won the hearts of everyone with his charm and wisdom. He was incredibly sensitive to people, a sensitivity he brought with him to the Senior Citizens Ministry, and to anything he took interest in.”

Prior to entering politics, Orbach was a journalist, publicist, and author. In the 1980s, he was one of the founders of the religious children’s newspaper Otiyot (“Letters”). Orbach also co-founded the Kol Chai haredi radio station, was a political columnist for the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, and penned several children’s books. He became a Knesset member in 2009.

“I have lost my elder brother, a man of integrity and wisdom, of laughter and of earnest, a man of courage and vision,” said Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Habayit Hayehudi party. “There was no one else like him in the cynical world of politics. He will be sorely missed.”

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