HAIFA, Israel, March 13 (UPI) -- Tawfik Toubi, a founding member of the Israeli Communist Party and a Knesset member for 41 years, has died at age 88 in Haifa.
Toubi died Saturday and was to be buried Sunday in Haifa's Kfar Samir Cemetery, Haaretz reported.
He was the last living member of the first Knesset and served from 1949 until his retirement on July 4, 1990.
"Tawfik Toubi was one of the first parliamentarians in Israel, and left his stamp on the Israeli Parliament," said Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.
"Toubi was a member of a movement that was in conflict with many in the Knesset, but still demanded respect for the rules of the game, and knew to respect them both in principle and in practice. The Knesset bows its head at the passing of a valued and impressive parliamentarian."
Toubi was born in Haifa in 1922 and studied at a Christian high school in Jerusalem. He joined the Palestinian Communist Party in 1941 and became one of the founding members of the League for National Liberation when the PCP split in 1943.
Members of the Arab League and Jewish members of the PCP joined forces to establish the Israeli Communist Party in 1948.
He helped start the Maki Party in 1965. He was elected as the deputy secretary-general of the Hadash Party in 1976 and served as its secretary-general from 1989 through 1993.
The Jerusalem Post said Toubi remained an ardent communist throughout his political career.