Israel mourns as preparations begin for Peres’ funeral

From The Associated Press:

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Wednesday mourned the death of Shimon Peres, a former president and prime minister whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state, as the government began preparations for a funeral that is expected to bring together an array of world leaders and international dignitaries.

Peres, celebrated around the world as a Nobel Prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace during a remarkable seven-decade career, died early Wednesday from complications from a stroke. He was 93.

News of Peres’ death was met with an outpouring of tributes from around the world.

“There are few people who we share this world with, who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people,” said President Barack Obama.

Obama will headline the list of leaders expected at Peres’ funeral in Jerusalem on Friday. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Bill and Hillary Clinton, Britain’s Prince Charles, French President Francois Hollande and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with senior officials from Germany, Mexico, Australia and elsewhere, would also attend. It will be the biggest gathering of international leaders to converge on Israel since the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a Jewish ultranationalist in 1995.

Officials said that Peres’ body would lie in state at the Knesset, or parliament, on Thursday to allow the public to pay final respects. His funeral will take place at Mount Herzl, the country’s national cemetery in Jerusalem. Yona Bartal, a former personal aide to Peres, said the arrangements were in line with his wishes.

Peres’ son, Chemi, …

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