Israelis pay respects to Shimon Peres, funeral on Friday

Israelis pay respects to Shimon Peres, funeral on Friday

Tel Aviv, Sep 29 (IANS) Former Israeli President Shimon Peres’ casket was laid outside parliament Knesset, as the country’s leaders and the public on Thursday started to pay their last respects.

Peres died at 93, on Wednesday in a hospital near capital Tel Aviv after spending two weeks in induced coma following a stroke.

The wreath-laying ceremony started as President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Speaker of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein paid their respects, Xinhua news agency reported.

Road 1, which connects Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, will be closed to traffic as hundreds of world leaders are expected to arrive ahead of the funeral, which will be held on Friday, the police said in a statement.

Securing the event would be the “largest” operation of its kind in the history of the nation, the statement added.

According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the list of foreign dignitaries expected to attend the funeral includes US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, French President Francois Hollande, Britain’s Prince Charles, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

Peres served as Israel’s ninth President between 2007 and 2014.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 and covered almost every significant office in his 70-year political career.

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