Knesset Member Ze`ev Boim died of cancer on Friday at the age of 67. Boim, a member of the Kadima
party who served in the past as deputy defense minister, minister of housing and construction, minister of agriculture and absorption minister, passed away at a hospital in Chicago. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and seven grandchildren.
About three months ago Boim traveled with his wife to the US, where he underwent intensive treatments after his health had deteriorated.
"Ze'evik was a noble man who fought gallantly," said fellow Kadima member Dalia Itzik. "He will be missed by all of us. I'll miss him every day."
Kadima chairperson Tzipi Livni
said Boim "represented the values on which Zionism is based. He loved this country and cared for its people.
"The State of Israel lost one of its best sons and leaders," the opposition leader added. "Kadima is proud to have been represented by (Boim). We will miss him as a friend and colleague."
Boim was born in Jerusalem in 1943 and served as a company commander in the Armored Corps. After working as a teacher and principal at a school in Kiryat Gat for 18 years, Boim was elected mayor of the southern city. He served as a lawmaker since being elected to the 14th Knesset as a member of Likud.
Boim joined the newly formed centrist Kadima party in 2005. He was appointed absorption minister in 2006, under then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. In 2007 he was appointed housing and construction minister.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Boim "one of the best Knesset members," adding "he served the State of Israel faithfully for decades."
Doron Avital, the former head of the IDF's elite Sayeret Matkal unit, will take Boim's seat in the Knesset.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report