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Netanyahu hails legendary American Jewish comedian Rivers as 'vocal supporter of Israel'
September 4, 2014 22:06
Joan Rivers died on Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest during a medical procedure.
Comedian Joan Rivers

Comedian Joan Rivers talks to reporters as she arrives for a gala honoring the late stand-up comedian George Carlin.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement on Joan Rivers' death, saying she brought laughter to millions of people around the world “and was proud of her Jewish heritage and a vocal supporter of Israel.”

“We will miss her deeply and we send our heartfelt condolences to her family,” he said in a statement.

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The iconic comedian died on Thursday in New York a week after suffering cardiac arrest during an outpatient medical procedure, her daughter said in a statement. She was 81.

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends," Melissa Rivers said.

On Sunday, sources told TMZ that her family had to decide in the coming days whether to keep her on life support. According to the report, the family remained hopeful that the 81-year-old “will make a turn for the better and fight through it” if they decided to turn off the machines.

Rivers expressed unequivocal support for Israel during its recent operation in the Gaza Strip.

In January of this year, the comedienne appeared on the Israeli comedy show Matzav HaUma (State of the Nation), which was filmed in New York. The show’s host Lior Schleien joked that she was the only person they could find to say she loves Israel, because “she’s used to saying scandalous things no one else wants to say.”

“If they don’t love you, tell them to go f*ck themselves. Everybody I know loves Israel, but I’m not very popular,” Rivers added before listing the top 10 ways to say “I love Israel.”

Herb Keinon and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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