She battled the British in pre-state Palestine, escaped jail in 1947 to continue the fight and entered the Knesset in 1979 as strong opponent to Egypt peace treat; Rivlin remembers Israsel Prize winner as ‘Israeli freedom fighter in the deepest sense’

Geula Cohen

Former MK Geula Cohen, whose life was woven into the history of the State of Israel, died late Wednesday at the age of 93.

President Reuven Rivlin led tributes to Cohen, who fought for the creation of the state, served 19 years as a member of Knesset and who the Israel Prize, the country’s highest civilian honor for her contributions to society, called her death a “national sorrow.”

“The fire that burned in Geula went out tonight,” Rivlin said, praising her as an “Israeli freedom fighter in the deepest sense of the concept, who was an inspiration to myself and all of us.”

Cohen’s son, Tzachi Hanegbi, currently serving as Likud’s minister of regional development, announced her death.

“With deep regret, I announce the passing of my dear mother, Geula Cohen, an Israel freedom fighter from the dawn of her youth until her last day, at the age of 93,” Hanegbi said.

Geula Cohen and Abba Kovner in 1968
GGeula Cohen and Abba Kovner in 1968 (Photo: Israel National Library)


Cohen’s funeral was to take place on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Mount of Olives Cemetery in Jerusalem.

The Tel-Aviv-born former lawmaker joined the underground Etzel movement fighting the British Mandate in 1942. She later moved to the more radical Lehi, also known as the Stern Gang, where she worked as a radio announcer.

She was captured by the British and sentenced to seven years in jail in 1946, but managed to escape a year later and made her return to the Stern Gang.

Geula Cohen with her son, Tzachi Hanegbi, and President Reuven Rivlin, on her 90th birthday
Geula Cohen with her son, Tzachi Hanegbi, and President Reuven Rivlin, on her 90th birthday (Photo: Menachem Begin Heritage Center)


After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 she worked as a journalist and later became active in politics, joining the right-wing Likud party and entering the Knesset in 1973.

Cohen was known for her vocal opposition to Israel giving up any of the lands it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and opposed the 1979 Camp David peace deal.

As reported by Ynetnews