Former Israeli president, finance minister and prime minister Shimon Peres dies at age of 93; National ceremony to be held during Peres funeral on Friday
Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president and one of the nation’s founding fathers, died on Wednesday morning at the age of 93. He will be buried during a national ceremony to be held on Friday morning in Jerusalem.
Peres was hospitalized following a stroke two weeks ago, remaining in critical condition under sedation.
Shimon Peres served prime minister of Israel twice, served as her ninth president and received the Noble Peace Prize.
Peres was born in Poland (now Belarus) and made “aliyah” (the Hebrew/Jewish term for immigration to Israel) with his family at the age of 11 in 1934. Peres began his military career in 1947, serving in the Haganah forces before the creation of the State of Israel and Israel Defense Forces. Peres was a close aid and friend of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion.
After Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, Peres served in Israel’s navy before entering the Ministry of Defense. At the age of 29, Peres became the youngest Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Defense to date.
In 1959 Peres officially entered politics, serving as Deputy Defense Minister. In 1977 he succeeded Yitzchak Rabin as the head of the Labor Party. In 1984 he became prime minister and served as both deputy prime minister and finance minister alongside Yitchak Shamir.
Peres is most significantly known for his work in the peace process with the Palestinians, particularly during the Oslo Peace Accords, for which he received a Nobel Peace Prize alongside Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin in 1994.
Peres continued his active role in Israel’s political realm, serving as the chairman of the “Havodah” Party (Labor Party) in 2003 after resigning from the post in 1997. During this period, Peres was focused on creating and forming the Peres Center for Peace.
In 2007, Peres became Israel’s ninth president, holding the position until 2014. Peres served Israel’s defense institutions, military and country for over 66 years.
His burial will take place on Friday, a national ceremony to be held to remember one of Israel’s greatest leaders. He will be buried at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem in the “Great Leaders of the Nation” section next to Yitzchak Rabin. Dozens of heads of state from around the globe are expected to attend.