Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s defining political figures and a Nobel peace prize laureate, has died of stroke at the age of 93. He was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago for the ailment.
Peres had twice served as prime minister of Israel and later as the country’s ninth president. He had been seriously ill and on a respirator in an Israeli hospital near Tel Aviv. Peres died after his condition deteriorated sharply.
His defining achievement was as one of the key architects of the Oslo peace accords, for which he was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize with the then Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
Peres’s death was formally confirmed this morning by his son Chemi in a news conference at the hospital where his father had been treated.
“Today with deep sorrow we bid farewell to our beloved father, the ninth president of Israel,” he said. “Our father’s legacy has always been to look to tomorrow. We were privileged to be part of his private family, but today we sense that the entire nation of Israel and the global community share this great loss. We share this pain together.”
Reports in the Israeli media said that the former president’s coffin will lie in state in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on Thursday ahead of his funeral on Friday.