World

Leading Israeli settler advocate involved in Jewish settlement in Hebron dies at age 80

  • Jewish settlers carry the body of Rabbi Moshe Levinger during his the funeral outside Hebron's holiest site, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Jewish settlement in Hebron, West Bank, Sunday, May 17, 2015. Levinger, a leading figure in Israel's settler movement, was laid to rest Sunday in Hebron, where he helped establish a controversial Jewish community after Israel captured the territory from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    Jewish settlers carry the body of Rabbi Moshe Levinger during his the funeral outside Hebron's holiest site, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Jewish settlement in Hebron, West Bank, Sunday, May 17, 2015. Levinger, a leading figure in Israel's settler movement, was laid to rest Sunday in Hebron, where he helped establish a controversial Jewish community after Israel captured the territory from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jewish settlers, Israeli soldiers and family members attend the funeral of Rabbi Moshe Levinger outside Hebron's holiest site, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Jewish settlement in Hebron, West Bank, Sunday, May 17, 2015. Levinger, a leading figure in Israel's settler movement, was laid to rest Sunday in Hebron, where he helped establish a controversial Jewish community after Israel captured the territory from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    Jewish settlers, Israeli soldiers and family members attend the funeral of Rabbi Moshe Levinger outside Hebron's holiest site, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Jewish settlement in Hebron, West Bank, Sunday, May 17, 2015. Levinger, a leading figure in Israel's settler movement, was laid to rest Sunday in Hebron, where he helped establish a controversial Jewish community after Israel captured the territory from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • An Israeli soldier secures the old Jewish cemetery during the funeral of Rabbi Moshe Levinger in the Jewish settlement in Hebron, West Bank, Sunday, May 17, 2015. Levinger, a leading figure in Israel's settler movement, was laid to rest Sunday in Hebron, where he helped establish a controversial Jewish community after Israel captured the territory from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    An Israeli soldier secures the old Jewish cemetery during the funeral of Rabbi Moshe Levinger in the Jewish settlement in Hebron, West Bank, Sunday, May 17, 2015. Levinger, a leading figure in Israel's settler movement, was laid to rest Sunday in Hebron, where he helped establish a controversial Jewish community after Israel captured the territory from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

Moshe Levinger, a leading figure in Israel's settler movement who helped establish a settlement in the heart of the biblical West Bank city of Hebron has died at the age of 80.

A year after Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war, Levinger led the first settlers to Hebron, where Jews had lived for centuries until Arab riots drove most of them out in 1929.

Today around 800 settlers live in heavily guarded areas of Hebron alongside 180,000 Palestinians.

Levinger's funeral is set for Sunday outside that city's holiest site, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque.

In 1990, Levinger served three months of a five-month prison term for killing an Arab.

Relatives said he died Saturday.