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Shimon Peres finally laid to rest

By Henry Ekemezie (with Agency Reports)   |   01 October 2016   |   1:56 am
Members of the Knesset (parliamentary) guards stand beside the flag-draped coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres during the burial ceremony at the funeral at Mount Herzl National Cemetery in Jerusalem, on September 30, 2016. RONEN ZVULUN / POOL / AFP

Members of the Knesset (parliamentary) guards stand beside the flag-draped coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres during the burial ceremony at the funeral at Mount Herzl National Cemetery in Jerusalem, on September 30, 2016.<br />RONEN ZVULUN / POOL / AFP

The body of former Israeli Prime Minister and President, Shimon Peres was laid to rest yesterday. He was aged 93. World leaders, flanked by heavy security attended the funeral.

Early yesterday morning, Peres’ casket was loaded onto a hearse for the drive from the Knesset — the Israeli parliament of which he was a member for more than 45 years to the national cemetery at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl where he was buried. United States President, Barack Obama said the presence of Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas at the funeral, was a reminder of the “unfinished business of peace”.

He headlined a cast of prominent eulogists who praised Mr. Peres for his commitment to coexistence with the Palestinians and, in some cases, called for a renewed dedication to realizing that dream. “The last of the founding generation is now gone,” said Obama, wearing a skullcap and standing next to Mr. Peres’s coffin.

Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas, who have not formally met in six years, shook hands at the funeral ceremony, as they did last year when they spoke on the sidelines of a climate conference in Paris. As he began his own eulogy, Mr. Netanyahu greeted by name many of the foreign leaders before him but made no mention of Mr. Abbas. While he grew emotional in praising Mr. Peres, he also acknowledged the fierce debates they had about the best way to secure Israel.

Also on hand were President François Hollande of France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, Prince Charles and former Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, and King Felipe VI of Spain. Among others attending were the leaders of Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden.




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