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Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 10:40 UK

Israeli activist Abie Nathan dies

Abie Nathan, the maverick Israeli peace activist, 1991
Abie Nathan flew a plane to Egypt just before the the 1967 Middle East war

Abie Nathan, the maverick Israeli peace activist, has died aged 81.

Israeli President Shimon Peres paid his tributes saying Nathan was "a great fighter against war, poverty and discrimination".

Abie Nathan was born in Iran 1927, educated in India and served in the Royal Air Force during World War II.

He volunteered as a pilot in Israel's war of independence in 1948; but he became disillusioned with the Israeli government.

In 1966 he flew his private plane to Egypt, in a push for peace.

He also founded the Voice of Peace radio station, which mixed pop songs and peace messages, and became popular with young people.

He served two prison sentences, the most recent in 1989 when he was gaoled for 122 days for meeting Yasser Arafat, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In 1996, he met Mahmoud Zahhar of the Hamas Islamist movement.




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