March 2, 2017 / 4:54 PM / 5 months ago

David Rubinger, who snapped Israel's best-known photos, dies aged 92

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Israeli paratroopers stand in front of the Western wall in Jerusalem's Old City in June 1967 after it was captured during the Middle East War,widely known as the Six Day War.David Rubinger/GPO

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - David Rubinger, whose photograph of Israeli paratroops at Jerusalem's Western Wall became a symbol of Israel's victory in the 1967 Middle East war, has died at the age of 92, his family said on Thursday.

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The Vienna-born Rubinger immigrated to British-mandate Palestine in 1939, and in more than 60 years as a photo-journalist, mainly for TIME-LIFE, documented some of the most important moments in Israel's history after its founding in 1948.

Israel's late president, Shimon Peres, who with many of the country's other leaders, including David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin, was the subject of Rubinger's intimate portraits, called him "the photographer of the nation in the making".

His photos included stark images from Israel's battlegrounds in the 1973 Middle East war and the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Israeli settlers celebrating the foundation of one of the first post-1967 war settlements in the occupied West Bank and defiant Palestinians during an uprising in the 1980s.

Rubinger once said that his most famous photograph, showing several paratroops, one of them cradling a helmet as they stared up at the Western Wall just after its capture, was not very good because it cut off some of the soldiers' faces.

Reporting by Jeffrey Heller, editing by Larry King

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