Former Minister Yehudit Naot Succumbs to Cancer

Knesset Member and former Environment Minister Yehudit Naot died Thursday from cancer.

, | updated: 11:25

The 60-year-old Technion professor, a member of the Shinui Party, was widely noted for her integrity and character. She was the first politician to request the Environment post, instead of seeking a more prestigious position.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Naot showed "a combination of personal integrity, standing for principles, professionalism and dedication."

Yosef (Tomy) Lapid, head of the Shinui Party, noted that Naot "did not make the compromises that most politicians make."

A chain smoker who only recently removed a sign from her office saying, "Here, We Smoke," Naot had cancer discovered in her throat less than two years ago. She continued to work even after her vocal chords were removed, but her deteriorating health forced her to resign in September.

Naot died at her home in Haifa, where she was a biology professor at the Technion. She was elected twice to the Knesset, and was a former Haifa city council member and deputy mayor of the city. She leaves behind a husband and three children, and will be buried on Sunday.