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Israeli Arab poet and journalist Salem Jubran died Sunday at his home in Nazareth at the age of 71. He was laid to rest in his hometown yesterday.

Born in 1941 in the Galilee village of Peki'in, Jubran published three books of poetry, the last of which appeared about 30 years ago. Poet Marwan Makhoul said Jubran's poetry was the most important ever published by an Israeli Arab author.

In his later years, Jubran held various jobs in fields as diverse as journalism, politics and education. His writing appeared in Haaretz, Yedioth Ahronoth and Maariv in addition to the Lebanese newspaper Al Nahar.

Jubran was editor of Israel's Arabic-language communist daily Al Ittihad and the literary and cultural magazine Al Jadid.

He was also a senior lecturer at the Center for Humanistic Education at the Lohamei Hagetaot Holocaust museum and was involved with the Jewish-Arab peace center in Givat Haviva.

For many years, he was active in the Israeli communist party, which was later merged into the Hadash party.

"He was never considered an extremist in his views or positions," said Israeli Druze poet Naim Araidi. "A moderate man, genuine and frank regarding Jewish-Arab coexistence in Israel."