File Photo: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AFP
"I was deeply saddened by the passing of Silvio Berlusconi. My heartfelt condolences go to his family and to the people of Italy," Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office.
Netanyahu referred to Berlusconi as "my friend" while praising his support for Israel. "Silvio was a great friend of Israel and stood by us at all times," he said.
Berlusconi, a dominant figure in Italian politics for three decades, died Monday at the age of 86 at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, after battling a series of illnesses since 2020.