US expresses condolences over death of Israel's First Lady

State Department statement describes Nechama Rivlin as having "touched the hearts of so many over the years".

Elad Benari ,

Reuven and Nechama Rivlin
Reuven and Nechama Rivlin
Mark Neiman/GPO

The State Department on Tuesday night issued condolences over the passing of Israel’s First Lady, Nechama Rivlin.

“On behalf of Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and the American people, we extend our deepest condolences to President Reuven Rivlin, his family and the people of Israel on the passing of Israel’s First Lady, Nechama Rivlin,” said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus in a statement.

“Beloved for her warmth and kindness, she touched the hearts of so many over the years. Our hearts are with all who mourn her loss during this difficult time. May her memory be a blessing,” she added.

Rivlin died on Tuesday morning at the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, one day before her 74th birthday.

"Unfortunately, all the doctors' efforts to stabilize her during the complex rehabilitation process that followed her transplant failed,” hospital officials said.

"The medical teams of the chest, lung, cardiology and intensive care units did not leave Mrs. Rivlin's bed throughout the period", the staff of Beilinson said, "we treated this wonderful woman with devotion and professionalism".

Rivlin underwent a single lung transplant at Beilinson earlier this year. The First Lady had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, and underwent the operation following a lengthy waiting period to find a donated lung.

While the operation to transplant the lung had been a success, she was left in serious condition, suffering shortness of breath due to cardiac complications, forcing President Rivlin to cut short a State visit abroad.

Rivlin will be brought to rest on Wednesday, with her coffin to be placed at the Jerusalem Theater, where the public is invited to pay their respects between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

At 5:15 p.m., the cortege will depart the theater for Mount Herzl, where the funeral will take place at the Gedolei HaUma (Leaders of the Nation) section and eulogies will be delivered. At the request of the family, and as a mark of their deep appreciation for the concern shown by the citizens of Israel during her illness, the public is invited to participate in both events.




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