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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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