JERUSALEM - Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who staunchly opposed giving up land to the Palestinians, has died. He was 96.
Shamir served as prime minister from 1983 to 1984 and again from 1986 to 1992.
He was known for resisting international pressure to make concessions, yet initiated a peace process in Spain that led to many future diplomatic overtures by his successors.
Born Yitzhak Jazernicki in Poland, he emigrated to British-ruled Palestine in 1935. He joined Lehi, the most hardline of Jewish movements fighting the British rule.
After Israel became a state in 1948, he became one of the founders of the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad.
Shamir gave up spying in 1965 and entered politics five years later to become speaker of the Knesset after his right-wing Likud party won general elections in 1977.
In 1999 he left Likud, accusing Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister, of betraying his party’s ideology by agreeing to limited Palestinian sovereignty over parts of the occupied West Bank.
He lived in a retirement home north of Tel Aviv until his death.
Source: VOA News