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Sun May 24 21:20:27 SAST 2015

Arab-Israeli woman dies aged 124, possibly oldest to have ever lived

Sapa-dpa | 23 December, 2012 15:21

An Arab-Israeli woman has died at the age of 124, which if verified would mean she could have been the oldest documented human being ever to have lived, Israeli media reported.

Mariam Ammash, from the Arab village of Jisr al-Zarqa, some 500 kilometres north of Tel Aviv, left behind 10 children and some 300 grand- and great grandchildren, said ynet, the online version of Israel's biggest-selling Yedioth Ahronot daily.

Her Israeli identity card states she was born in 1888.

So far, the longest verified and documented human lifespan is that of Jeanne Calment of France (1875-1997), who died aged 122.

Ammash told ynet several months ago that she was indeed 124 and that she remembered her year of birth, but not the exact date. So the clerk who issued her identity card decades ago wrote 00.00.1888 in the document.

"My family therefore surprise me with a celebration and presents at the end of each year," she told the site.

The news comes less than a week after the Guinness Book of Records certified Jirouemon Kimura, a 115-year-old Japanese man, as the oldest living person in the world after a US woman, also 115, died.

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