Former Justice Minister and Shinui Party chairman Yosef (Tommy) Lapid has died, aged 77.
Lapid was hospitalized in a serious condition at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital last week and succumbed to a long battle with cancer late Saturday night.
One of Israel's leading journalists and former Justice Minister, Lapid was known for his outspoken manner and his staunch efforts to perpetuate the Holocaust and assist the Holocaust survivors.
Lapid was born in former Yugoslavia and fled to Budapest with his family at the outbreak of the Second World War. His father perished at the hands of the Nazis and Lapid and his mother immigrated to Israel in 1948. Lapid later married well known author Shulamit.
He began working as a journalist at Ma'ariv and later served as director general of Israel Broacasting Authority between the years 1979 to 1984. He was asked to chair the Shinui Party prior to the 1999 elections and after the party won six mandates he was appointed a Knesset member. In 2003, the Shinui Party won 15 seats becoming the third largest party in the Knesset and Lapid was appointed Justice Minister under Ariel Sharon.
A year later Shinui pulled out of the government over a dispute regarding funding to religious institutions.
Lapid was also a permanent member on the panel of the popular television show Popolitika.