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Culture

Renowned Israeli photographer David Rubinger dies aged 92

His picture of Israeli soldiers gazing at the Western Wall became one of the most iconic images of the 1967 Six-Day War. Israeli photojournalist David Rubinger has died aged 92.

Veteran photographer David Rubinger, who documented key moments in Israel's history, has died in Jerusalem, his family said in a statement on Thursday.

Born on June 24, 1924 in Vienna, Rubinger fled the Nazis to British-ruled Palestine in 1939, at the age of 15. He did his military service with the British Army's Jewish Brigade during World War II. He developed a passion for photography, opened a photography studio in Jerusalem, and was taken on by "Time-Life" magazine as a photojournalist.

Rubinger was part of the "Time" team for five decades and kept working well into his 80s. Along the way he covered along Israel's wars and politics, while documenting the growing Jewish state's society and culture through photos of the different waves of Jewish immigrants from Europe, the Arab world, Russia, and Ethiopia.

Photo by David Rubinger: Paratroopers at the Western Wall (Getty Images/Newsmakers/GPO/David Rubinger)

Rubinger's signature photograph, Paratroopers at the Western Wall

"Over his illustrious career, Rubinger took over a half a million pictures that tell the story of the state of Israel," the "Haaretz" daily wrote.

Rubinger became the first photographer to receive Israel's highest honor, the Israel Prize, in 1997.

Survived 10 wars unscathed

His best-known work is a photo of Israeli paratroopers in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem after Israel captured East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967. The site is holy for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

In his 2007 book, "Israel Through My Lens: Sixty Years as a Photojournalist," he wrote about how he "went through 10 wars unscathed and survived countless other high-risk situations" and defined his "secret of a fulfilled life." 

"Try to live every day as if it is your last, but plan your future as though there were endless tomorrows."

eg/kbm (dpa, AFP)

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