JERUSALEM (AP) — Irving Moskowitz, an American patron of ultranationalist Israeli settlers, was laid to rest in east Jerusalem on Monday.
Hundreds of mourners gathered under heavy security for the funeral. The 88-year-old multimillionaire died at his home in Miami last Thursday.
Moskowitz donated millions of dollars to the Elad Foundation and Ateret Cohanim, two groups that have helped some 3,000 Israeli Jews move into the Old City and surrounding Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem in a bid to make dividing the city more difficult.
Daniel Luria, a spokesman for Ateret Cohanim, called Moskowitz a “Prince of Jerusalem who has built, redeemed and secured a United Jerusalem for generations.”
Moskowitz, born in New York to Polish parents, said he was motivated by the loss of many family members in the Holocaust.
He also supported charity projects in the U.S. and disaster relief abroad, including in the Philippines, Turkey and Haiti.
The former physician made his fortune selling hospitals, then augmented his wealth with bingo and casino operations in the Los Angeles area.
He was buried at a cemetery in the Mount of Olives, within view of a Jewish enclave in east Jerusalem he helped establish. The ancient Jewish cemetery, which overlooks the Old City, is home to the graves of many key figures in Jewish and Israeli history.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat vowed to continue Moskowitz’s legacy and “support and strengthen every Jewish community in Jerusalem, in its east and west, north and south.”
Israel seized east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed it in a move that is not internationally recognized. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.
Moskowitz is survived by his wife, Cherna, and their eight children.