By Beryl Kessio
By Beryl Kessio
Rabat – Shimon Peres, the veteran Israeli statesman who shared a Nobel prize for his extensive efforts in negotiating a peace agreement with Palestine, has died on Tuesday. He was 93.
The ex-president and leader during Israel’s fight for independence died after having a massive stroke two weeks ago. His condition deteriorated significantly on Tuesday, when he suffered severe organ failure and irreversible brain damage, according to the Jerusalem Post. Chemi Peres, speaking on Wednesday outside the Sheba Medical Center, highlighted his father’s extensive service to Israel.
“Our father’s legacy has always been the future,” Chemi Peres, said Wednesday morning outside the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv. “Look to tomorrow he taught us. Build Israel’s future … always continue to strive for peace.”
“He was one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel and served our people before we even had a country. He worked tirelessly for Israel from the very first day of the state to the last day of his life,” he added.
Peres’s career spanned almost 70 years, and he served in nearly every political position, from minister of defence to Prime Minister. The Labor Party politician was well-respected, not only in Israel, but globally as well.
“Shimon was the essence of Israel itself — the courage of Israel’s fight for independence, the optimism he shared with his wife Sonya as they helped make the desert bloom, and the perseverance that led him to serve his nation in virtually every position in government across the entire life of the State of Israel,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.
On December 10, 1994, Peres, along with then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, received a Nobel Peace Prize for their work as the craftsmen of the 1993 peace deal known as the Oslo Accords.
Peres spent his late years championing peace between Israelis and Palestinians, even going on to establish the Peres Center for Peace in 1996 to promote coexistence between Arabs and Jews in Israel.
Mr. Peres’s body will lie in the Israeli parliament from Thursday, and he will be buried Friday in a state funeral at Mount Herzl, the country’s national cemetery, in Jerusalem.
Among the many attendees expected for his funeral will be U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Charles, according to the Foreign Ministry spokesman.