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Israeli leader calls McCain an American patriot

August 26, 2018 - 3:55 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country salutes Sen. John McCain as a "great American patriot and a great supporter of Israel."

Netanyahu says Sunday he is deeply saddened by McCain's passing at the age of 81 and will always treasure his friendship.

McCain was a frequent visitor to Israel who backed it in the Senate and strongly opposed the nuclear ambitions and militancy of its archrival Iran.

Netanyahu says McCain's "support for Israel never wavered. It sprang from his belief in democracy and freedom."

Other tributes poured in from across the Israeli political spectrum. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called McCain one of Israel's greatest friends. Yair Lapid, head of the opposition Yesh Atid Party, lauded McCain as "a soldier with integrity in a world of politicians."

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