Netanyahu at service
Photo: Gur Dotan
Naftali Bennett on Sunday
Photo: Gur Dotan
Late Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman
Photo: George Ginsburg
Ariel founder Ron Nachman laid to rest
Nachman served as settlement's mayor for three decades. Naftali Bennett: He taught me to strike the word 'occupation' from my vocabulary
Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman, who passed away over the weekend, was laid to rest on Sunday in the settlement he founded.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a eulogy at the service.


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"Without Ron Nachman, nothing of what we see here in Ariel would have been possible," Netanyahu said.


Nachman, who passed away at 70 due to cancer, served as the city's mayor for three decades.

מסע ההלוויה באריאל (צילום: גור דותן)

Thousands attended funeral (Photo: Gur Dotan)


Several Knesset members, government ministers and top army officials were among the thousands who attended the funeral.


As per his request, Nachman was the first to be buried in a cemetery near the city's National Leadership Development Center, which he founded as well.


The late mayor's daughter, Irit, addressed him in a speech during the funeral.


"I've been your biggest fan for 35 years," she said. "Dad, you were one of the only people who could turn an idea and a dream into reality. You proved anything is possible.


"(…) You've won so many battles in your life, and even in your final battle against this disease you remained strong. You were brave, honest and direct. A great man who has done great things."


'Can't be occupier in own home'

Nachman was born in 1942. In 1978, he was elected as head of the Ariel Council, a role which he gave up a year later. He was reelected in 1985 and served as the West Bank city's mayor until his very last day.


He served as a Knesset member on behalf of the Likud party in the 13th Knesset and was a member of the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Immigration Absorption Committee and the committee on the Second Television and Radio Authority.


He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009.


Naftali Bennett, who heads the Habayit Hayehudi party, was also among the speakers at Sunday's service.


"There aren't many people who can pride themselves on having built a city," he said. "Ron's determination and his hard work have helped this city prosper. When I first met him he told me: 'You must strike the word occupation from your lexicon. You cannot be an occupier in your own home.' And this is truly our home."




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