Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke of the death of Assaf Ramon on Monday morning, having returned from Egypt the previous evening.
"I got the news when I was on the way to Egypt," Netanyahu told Army Radio on Monday morning, adding that he had told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak the sad news upon his arrival at the presidential palace in Cairo "Mubarak said, 'I know how hard it is to lose a son, or a grandson,'" the prime minister said. The Egyptian president's grandson died suddenly in May.
The prime minister had many words of praise for both Assaf and his father, the Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who was killed in the fatal Columbia space shuttle explosion in 2003. Netanyahu added that he had called the IAF cadet's mother, Rona Ramon, immediately upon his return to Israel later on Sunday.