Israeli health advocate kills himself

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Victor Shemtov, a former health minister who had appointed Padeh his director-general in 1970, was shocked by the news.

Padeh was "a completely honest man, a brilliant man of science. No others like him remain. It's a great loss to Israeli medicine," said Shemtov. "If he ended his life, it was out of strength, not weakness."

In 1999, the Volunteers' Shield gave Padeh a special award for a lifetime of service for contributing to the nation's health.