Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday telephoned Daniel Shechtman to congratulate the Technion professor for scooping the Nobel chemistry prize due to his discovery of quasi-crystals.
"I want to congratulate you in the name of the citizens of Israel for your win, which reflects the intellect of our people," Netanyahu told Shechtman in remarks communicated by his office.
"Every citizen in Israel is happy today, and every Jew in the world is proud," he said, extending his congratulations to the Technion, the institute of technology in Haifa, which this year marks 100 years since its establishment.
Science Minister Daniel Hershkowitz, himself a Technion professor, also congratulated Shechtman, who becomes the 10th Israeli to win a Nobel Prize and the fourth to take the award for chemistry.
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"Shechtman's winning the Nobel is not only an amazing personal achievement for him, but more proof that the State of Israel is a scientific and technological power," he said in a statement.
"As someone who knows him and his talents, his winning a Nobel does not surprise me."
Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Shechtman's scientific achievement was evidence of "the rare human resource in Israel and the keystone to our national strength," his office said.
Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie said the award marked another great achievement for Israel's science community.
"This is a day of celebration for the Technion and for Israeli science," he told public radio.