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Menachem Froman Dead: Israeli Settler Rabbi Who Promoted Peace Succumbs To Illness

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Jewish rabbi Menachem Froman addresses a crowd of Palestinians as he leads a reconciliation visit of Jewish settlers to the West Bank village of Qusra, a day after the local mosque was vandalized, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. The mosque was torched Monday after Israeli military demolished buildings in an unauthorized Jewish settlement outpost. The name of the outpost, Migron, was spray painted on the mosque, suggesting the act was settler retaliation for the demolitions. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh) | AP

JERUSALEM -- Rabbi Menachem Froman, an Israeli settler known for his efforts to promote coexistence between Arabs and Jews, has died. He was 68.

His son Shivi Froman said he died Monday after a long illness.

Froman, who served as the rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, had ties to many Palestinian leaders. He was an outspoken opponent of attacks by Jewish settlers on mosques. He often visited damaged holy sites with local Palestinian officials. He believed Israelis and Palestinians could live together peacefully.

Froman was a founder of the Gush Emunim movement promoting Israeli settlement of the West Bank. He opposed the removal of Jewish settlers from the area, claiming a sacred biblical connection to the land.

His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.

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