Yitzhak Shamir, former Israeli prime minister, has died. He was 96 years old.
A small man who did big things, Yitzhak Shamir was described as an "underground" leader who was distrustful of an Arab regime. He was noted as a fiercely loyal man who had only the best interests of the Jewish people at heart.
"Yitzhak Shamir was a brave warrior before and after the founding of the State of Israel," said Israeli President Shimon Peres. "He was loyal to his views, a great patriot and a true lover of Israel who served his country with integrity and unending commitment. May his memory be blessed."
Of his many accomplishments while in office, Shamir was also a notably strong ally for the U.S., helping to forge a bond between this country and his own, particularly during the Gulf War when he was pressured to strike back against the U.S. after Scud missiles landed on Israeli soil; he was acknowledged by the White House after news of his passing spread.
"Yitzhak Shamir dedicated his life to the State of Israel. From his days working for Israel's independence to his service as Prime Minister, he strengthened Israel's security and advanced the partnership between the United States and Israel," the statement said.
Shamir passed away in a nursing home after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease.