With great pain and sincere sorrow, Ariel Development Fund and American Friends of Ariel regret to announce the untimely passing of the founder, visionary and longstanding Mayor of the City of Ariel, Ron Nachman.
Mayor Nachman passed away on Friday afternoon at the Bellinson Hospital in Petakh Tikva, after an extended battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.
Mayor Nachman leaves behind a legacy of Zionism and a staunch commitment to Judea and Samaria. News of Nachman's passing ushered in a series of statements from across the political spectrum, with leaders expressing sorrow over the loss.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement expressing "deep sorrow" at Nachman's death and 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 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 Israel.
Born in 1942, Nachman studied political science and law at Tel Aviv University. He co-founded Ariel in 1978, and became the city's first mayor in 1985. As a member of the Likud, Nachman was elected to the Knesset in 1992 and served on a number of Knesset committees.
A strong, secure and thriving Ariel is Ron Nachman's eternal legacy.