Former Sderot mayor Eli Moyal died on Tuesday at the age of 67. Moyal had suffered a heart attack on February 16th and was hospitalized in Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon.
Moyal, a member of the Likud party, served as mayor between the years of 1998-2008, at a time when rocket attacks on the city were routine. During that time he made many media appearances and, in 2005, he won the title of “man of the year” from the Israeli association for Public Relations and Spokesmanship for his work bringing the situation in Sderot to public attention.
In the announcement made by the Sderot municipality they said: “The town of Sderot is sad to announce the death of lawyer Eli Moyal, the city’s mayor between the years 1998-2008, including February the more difficult years immediately after the rocket barrages started. Moyal was taken to the hospital a week and a half ago from his home in Sderot to Barzilai hospital after fee unwell. When he arrived at the hospital he lost his consciousness and has remained hospitalized since. Yesterday, at the request of his family members, he was transferred to Bellinson hospital in Petah-Tikva, where he heart stopped tonight.” Eli Moyal left behind an only son.
The current mayor of Sderot, Alon Davidi, gave a eulogy to Moyal, saying “Eli Moyal contributed much to the city of Sderot, he was a significant figure for the people for the people of this town and was always willing to listen to their troubles. His death struck us and every citizen of this town with shock. In this troubling time, me, my friends at the city council, every worker of the municipality, those who have retired and the people of Sderot send their condolences to the dear Moyal family.
President Reuven Rivlin posted a eulogy on his twitter account for the former mayor, saying “Eli was my dear friend and a loyal servant of the people of Sderot. He built Sderot as a city in Israel and spared no effort in giving the people security and the ability to make an honest living. Even on the harder days Eli always remained committed to his cause. The people of Israel will remember him as one of its special sons. May his memory be blessed.”
Labour-Gesher-Meretz leader, MK Amir Peretz, who was once the mayor of Sderot himself, said “I feel great pain at the passing of my friend Eli Moyal, a man who made Aliya as a child to Sderot and returned to it as an adult, when he transferred to it his successful law firm and led it to achievements in many fields all the while seeing and believing in the children of Sderot to whom he gave chances to strive towards excellence.
“Our life stories crossed with one another time after time, both as children who group up in the transit camps and the privilege I had escorting his mother when she received the president’s award. I knew Eli’s family, where everyone maximized their potential in bold and boundary-breaking ways. Eli was a man of telling the truth openly and without fear, and with time became one of the clearest speakers on the topics of security and welfare. It is true we haven’t always agreed on everything, but our mutual respect overcame every bump in the road, and we always had each other’s backs. May his memory be blessed.”
Moyal will be brought to rest on Wednesday day at 16:00 in the Sderot cemetery