Israeli ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner
Shimon Peres died on Wednesday, some two
weeks after suffering a major stroke.
The 93-year-old died in his sleep at around
3:00am (0000 GMT), Peres’ doctor Rafi Walden,
who is also Peres’s son-in-law, told AFP news
agency. Israeli media also confirmed the former
Israeli president’s death.
He died surrounded by family members.
“Our father’s legacy has always been the future.
Look to tomorrow, he taught us,” said Chemi
Peres, Peres’ son, in a press conference.
“Today, we sense that the entire nation of Israel
and the global community mourns this great loss,”
he added. “We share this pain together.”
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 was set for Friday 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.
He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo
Accords, which envisioned an independent
After suffering the stroke, he received an
outpouring of support from across the world,
including from Pope Francis, US President Barack
Obama, the Clinton family, Donald Trump, Britain’s
former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Russian
President Vladimir Putin.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called him
“tireless in seeking peace between Israelis and
There had been signs of improvement last week.
On September 18, Peres’ office said doctors
planned to gradually reduce his sedation and
respiratory support to judge his response.
His personal physician Walden had said at the time
that Peres had seen “very slow, moderate
But on Tuesday, a source close to Peres said his
condition had taken a downturn and he was
“fighting for his life”.
In January, Peres was hospitalised twice because
of heart trouble.
In the first case, the hospital said he had suffered a
“mild cardiac event” and underwent catheterisation
to widen an artery.
He was rushed to hospital a second time just days
later with chest pains and an irregular heartbeat.
Peres had sought to maintain an active schedule
despite his age, particularly through events related
to his Peres Center for Peace.
When leaving hospital on January 19, Peres said
he was keen to get back to work.
“I’m so happy to return to work, that was the
whole purpose of this operation,” he said.
Born in Poland in 1923, Peres emigrated to what
was then British-mandated Palestine when he was
11. He joined the Zionist movement and met David
Ben-Gurion, who would become his mentor and
Israel’s first prime minister.
Peres became director general of the nascent
defence ministry at just 29 years old. He was also
seen as a driving force in the development of
Israel’s undeclared nuclear programme.