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Wed. Sep 28, 2016 News from Israel

  • State of Israel mourns the loss of its 9th President Shimon Peres
  • On Thursday Public is invited to pay final respects as Peres' casket will lie in state in front of Knesset parliament building
  • A long list of World leaders will attend Peres' funeral on Friday on Mount Hertzel in Jerusalem

Israel’s 9th President Shimon Peres passed away Wednesday at the Sheba medical center at the age of 93. The former president passed away after he suffered a stroke two weeks ago. Even though his condition slightly improved last week, in the past 24 hours, his situation deteriorated drastically. Peres is survived by his three children. His wife Sonia passed away in 2011 when Peres served as president. Peres, will be laid to rest on Friday at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl in the Great Leaders of the Nation's Plot. The Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Ceremonies and Symbols planned the funeral, which will be attended by many of the world's leaders.In accordance with the committee’s decision, President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein will place wreaths near the entrance to the Knesset building at 8:45 AM Israel time on Thursday . At 9:00 AM, Peres’ casket will be placed at the Knesset square near the entrance to the building. The public is invited to pay their last respects until 9:00 PM. The flags at the Knesset have already been lowered to half-staff.At 8:30 AM on Friday, Peres’ casket will leave the Knesset square and make its way to Mount Herzl. At 9:30 AM, the farewell ceremony and eulogies will begin and at 11:00 AM, the walk to the Great Leaders of the Nation's Plot will begin.

The state funeral will start at 12:00 PM. It is expected to end at 1:30 PM. According to protocol, the state flags at all government institutions, IDF bases and Israel Police stations will be lowered to half-staff from the morning of the funeral and until the evening.

Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry is preparing for the arrival of many world leaders who will be coming to Israel in order to attend Shimon Peres’ funeral on Friday. The ministry opened a special office in order to assemble all the information about the world leaders’ plans and make sure that their needs are met throughout their stay in Israel. Among the senior level figures who plan to attend the service are U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon French President François Hollande and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Prince Charles is also expected to arrive in Israel for the funeral as well as British Prime Minister Theresa May. In addition, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said that German President Joachim Gauck, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and many others are expected to attend the ceremony.

The Israeli government convened Wednesday morning for a session of mourning in memory of Israel’s 9th President and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Netanyahu and the other members of the Israeli government began the session with a moment of silence in honor of Peres’ memory. Peres’ picture was placed in the room where he sat numerous times over the years as prime minister and minister.  “This is the State of Israel’s first day without the late Shimon Peres,” said Netanyahu.

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