Azriel Livnat, father of Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat who was a member of the Lehi underground movement that operated during the British Mandate, died on Wednesday night at the age of 92.
Livnat will be brought to rest on Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. at the Lehi fighters’ plot in the Yarkon Cemetery.
Born in Jerusalem in 1923, Livnat and his family moved to Haifa when he was 11 years old. In 1939 he joined Lehi, a group whose goal was to evict the British authorities from what was then called Palestine. Livnat was in charge of the group’s intelligence activities in Haifa.
In 1944, Livnat was arrested by the British authorities for his activities against the British Mandate, and was later among 251 underground Jewish fighters who were exiled to Africa, where he was held in detention camps for four years.
On May 15, 1945, Livnat and two of his friends, Amram Kahati and Moshe David Eichenboim, launched a daring escape from a detention camp in Sudan, by cutting the barbed wire and running away. Azriel was shot in the hand by local soldiers who surrounded the three in the mountains of Sudan, and they were caught and returned to the detention camp.
Only two months after Israel’s Declaration of Independence, on July 12, 1948, did Livnat return to Israel along with other exiled fighters. His wife is singer Shulamit Livnat, who is known for her renditions of songs written in the time period before the establishment of the State of Israel. In addition to Minister Limor Livnat, he has a son, Noam Livnat, who lives with his wife and six children in the community of Elon Moreh.
Noam's son, Ben Yosef Livnat, was murdered by Palestinian Authority police officers in 2011 while visiting the Tomb of the Biblical Joseph in Samaria.