- Title: Preparations begin for Israel's Peres state funeral
- Date: 28th September 2016
- Summary: JERUSALEM (SEPTEMBER 28, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WORKERS PREPARING GRAVESITE AHEAD OF FUNERAL OF FORMER ISRAELI PRESIDENT SHIMON PERES WORKER PUTTING CEMENT BETWEEN STONES NEAR GRAVE MORE OF WORKERS PREPARING GRAVESITE VARIOUS OF GRAVE OF LATE ISRAELI LEADER YITZHAK RABIN, NEAR THE GRAVESITE OF PERES' ISRAELI FLAG LOWERED TO HALF MAST OUTSIDE ISRAELI PARLIAMENT, THE KNESSET (SOUNDBITE) (English) KNESSET SPEAKER, YOLI EDELSTEIN, SAYING: "Today the Israeli family is saying good-bye not just to their beloved president, not just to a family member. We are saying good-bye to the head of our family. In the Knesset (Israeli parliament) we are mourning not just the ninth president of this country, not just the former prime minister. We are mourning a member of Knesset who served in this house for the unbelievable number of 48 years. I doubt whether anyone will ever break this record." FLAGS LOWERED TO HALF MAST VARIOUS OF KNESSET
- Embargoed: 13th October 2016 15:59
- Keywords: Israel. Shimon Peres state funeral gravesite
- Location: JERUSALEM
- City: JERUSALEM
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00151HCJT3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Preparations began on Wednesday (September 28) for the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, who died earlier that day aged 93.
Peres, an indefatigable campaigner for Middle East peace who jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, was hospitalised following a stroke two weeks ago and died in Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv.
His funeral will take place on Friday (September 30) at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl cemetery, in a section dedicated to "Great Leaders of the Nation".
Workers were at his grave site late on Wednesday to prepare it for the burial, which will take place near the grave of late Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin.
Flags were lowered at half mast in Israel's parliament, the Knesset and the house speaker Yuli Edelstein, eulogized the elder statesman.
"Today the Israeli family is saying good-bye not just to their beloved president, not just to a family member. We are saying good-bye to the head of our family. In the Knesset (Israeli parliament) we are mourning not just the ninth president of this country, not just the former prime minister. We are mourning a member of Knesset who served in this house for the unbelievable number of 48 years. I doubt whether anyone will ever break this record," Edelstein said.
Earlier, a special ministerial committee convened to plan and coordinate Peres's funeral, which many world leaders are expected to attend.
"We are officially convening the ministerial Committee on Symbols and ceremonies, which today mourns the passing of former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres. We are preparing for a very large and complex funeral that will coordinate many elements," said Miri Regev, Israeli culture minister and head of the committee.
Peres was part of almost every major development in Israel since the country's founding in 1948. In a career spanning nearly 70 years, he served in a dozen cabinets and was twice a Labour prime minister.
He shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with the late former prime minister Rabin and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for reaching an interim peace deal in 1993 which never turned into a lasting treaty.
Peres held the largely ceremonial post of president from 2007-2014 and used the pulpit to continue to advocate peace.
U.S President Barack Obama, Britain's Prince Charles and former U.S. president Bill Clinton are among those expected to attend, Israeli radio reported, although Israel's Foreign Ministry could not immediately confirm the attendance list.
French President Francois Hollande also confirmed he would attend, alongside his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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