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Abba Khoushi, Haifa’s Mayor for 18 Years, Dead at 71; Was Important Political Figure

Funeral services will be held tomorrow for Abba Khoushi, Mayor of Haifa for the past 18 years, who died at the Rothschild Hospital here of heart failure early today at the age of 71. Mr. Khoushi was hospitalized a week ago for what was diagnosed as a slight heart attack.

One of Israel’s most colorful and most formidable political figures, Mr. Khoushi was born in Turka. Austria and settled in Palestine in 1920 when Haifa was a minor port. He worked as a longshoreman on the docks from 1920 to 1938 when he became general-secretary of Haifa’s Workers’ Council. He was elected to the first Knesset on the Mapai ticket in 1949 and served until 1951 when he was elected Haifa’s mayor. Mr. Khoushi was a member of the executive committee of Histadrut, Israel’s labor federation, and of the council of Mapai. He was active in the Haganah, Jewish Palestine’s defense force of pre-State-hood days, and had to seek refuge with a Druze family on Mount Carmel when he found himself on the British “wanted” list.

As mayor of Israel’s chief seaport and center of heavy industry, Mr. Khoushi administered a city of 300,000 with the energy and flare of the late Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the mayor of New York to whom he was often compared. He was an early riser and each morning he personally inspected the streets for cleanliness and tidiness. The door to his office in Haifa’s modern City Hall was always open and the mayor frequently gave personal attention to the problems of individual citizens. He spoke Arabic fluently and his relationship with Haifa’s Arab and Druze communities was always considered excellent.

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