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Israel Eldad, Underground Leader, Dies

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Israel Eldad, an underground leader of pre-state Israel and for 50 years one of the most influential figures of the Israeli right wing, died this week.

He was 86.

Eldad, who was born in Galicia, immigrated to British-run Palestine in 1941 and, along with Yitzhak Shamir, led Lehi, also known as the Stern Gang, the most militant of the underground groups fighting for independence.

He also was a teacher.

After the State of Israel was founded in 1948, Eldad continued to be active in nationalist groups and was a strong advocate for the biblical land of Israel.

He was strongly opposed to Israel’s peace deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Until his death, he wrote a weekly column in the daily Yediot Achronot. During the Israeli troop redeployment in the West Bank, Eldad wrote that the withdrawal was “the most dangerous assassination of all – the daily cutting away of the body and the soul.”

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