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The Independent Online

Ephraim Katzir

The politician Ephraim Katzir, who died on 30 May aged 93, was an internationally celebrated biophysicist who served as Israel's fourth president from 1973-78, a term of office which encompassed the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the historic visit of the Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem in 1977.

Born in Kiev, Katzir moved with his family to British-ruled Palestine at the age of six. He studied biology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and later served in the Haganah, the underground Jewish defence organisation, working on developing new explosives. During the war that followed independence in 1948, he was appointed head of the military's science corps and was their chief scientist from 1966 to 1968.

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