Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement expressing "deep sorrow" at the death Friday of Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman, calling him a "friend and partner."
"Ron was a big Zionist patriot," Netanyahu said. "I liked him a great deal. He was a visionary who built Ariel, and turned it into a thriving city in Israel. He was committed with every fiber of his being to the rebirth of the Jewish people in their land, and to building a flourishing city in Samaria."
Netanyahu said that to his last days Nachman worked to strengthen and develop Ariel, and that he when he spoke to him recently after Ariel University received its upgraded status, Nachman was deeply moved by what he saw as another achievement for settlements in Israel.