Ra’am MK Saeed al-Haromi, 49, died suddenly of a heart attack early Wednesday morning, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Al-Haromi was rushed to Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba, where doctors were unable to save him. al-Haromi lived in Segev Shalom, a small Bedouin village south of Beersheba.
The Ra’am MK served as head of the Knesset’s Interior and Environmental Protection Committee, and previously served as secretary-general of the Islamic Movement in Israel, as well as the Segev Shalom Regional Council head.
Al-Harumi had worked for years to gain government recognition for some of the illegal Bedouin villages.
He abstained from the Knesset vote that installed the Bennett-Lapid government over the planned demolition of Bedouin homes in the Negev. The coalition made it through anyway, by a vote of 60-59.
“We extend our condolences to Saeed’s family and the people of the Negev,” Ra’am stated in a press release announcing his death. “Alharomi dedicated his life to serve the Arab sector and to solve the burning issues of his community,” the statement added.
“He was a young, energetic and intelligent politician,” Ra’am head Mansour Abbas said of Alharomi. “He always believed in his way a member of the community of Negev Arabs. This is a huge loss,” Abbas continued. “His entire life, he worked for the residents of the Negev. Everyone who knew him said he was an amazing man who knew how to get everyone to agree.”
“In the name of the Israeli government, I extend my condolences to the Alharomi family on the death of the Chairman of the Interior Committee, MK Saeed Alharomi. May you know no more sorrow,” tweeted Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is the United States to meet with President Joe Biden.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Joint List leader Ayman Odeh and Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg also sent condolences.
Alharomi will be replaced by Iman Khatib-Yasin, who was fifth on the Ra’am list for the March elections. With her inclusion, the Knesset will have a record 36 women members.
Updated Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 12:21 pm .