Former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres passes away

The 9th President of Israel passed away at the age of 93 two weeks after suffering a severe stroke. Shimon Peres became a senior level politician in Israel already at the age of 28, served as prime minister, received the Noble Peace Prize and was chosen for presidency in 2007.
From a shepard to president Photo Credit: Mark Neighman/GPO/Channel 2 News

Israel’s 9th President Shimon Peres passed away this morning (Wednesday) 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' funeral will be held on Friday.

Peres is survived by his three children. His wife Sonia passed away in 2011 when Peres served as president. Many of the world's leaders are expected to attend the funeral. He will be buried at Mount Herzl.

"Today, we are saying goodbye to our father, Israel’s 9th President Shimon Peres. Father is amongst the founders of our country. He served the country from his first day until his last," his son Nehemiah eulogized.

"Father served the country with loyalty and devotion as president, prime minister and minister of defense," continued his son. “He used to say ‘a man's size is only as large as the size of the people he serves.’ He didn't care for anything but to serve the people of Israel whom he loved and believed in until his last breath.”

Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Peres was born Szymon Perski in August 1923 in the town of Vishnyeva, Belarus. In 1934, he came to Israel with his family and they settled in Tel-Aviv. He was a student at the Ben Shemen Youth Village and afterwards he established a Nahal Core called "Alumot" in the Lower Galilee.

At the age of 20, he was chosen as the secretary of the HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed movement. In 1945, he married Sonia Gelman. David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol noticed his talent and called him to serve at the Hagana's headquarters.

With Ovadia Yossef Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

A year later, he was sent as the head of the Israeli Defense Ministry delegation to the United States, where he finished his studies. At the age of 30, he became the Defense Ministry Director-General. During his term, he began establishing the nuclear reactor in Dimona.

In 1959, Peres was chosen to serve in the Knesset and was appointed as the Deputy Defense Minister. Peres served in different positions in many governments and in 1974, he challenged Yitzhak Rabin for the position of the Labor Party head and lost.

With Ronaldo Photo Credit: Moshe Milner/Channel 2 News

After Rabin resigned as prime minister, Peres served as a substitute until the elections, where he lost to Menachem Begin. In 1981, the two went head-to-head for the position of prime minister and Peres lost. In 1984, after he won the elections but couldn't form a coalition, Yitzhak Shamir (Likud) and Peres signed on a rotation agreement.

In 1992, Peres served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Rabin's government. Although known as rivals, Peres and Rabin organized the Oslo Accords. After the assassination of Rabin, Peres lost the general election to Benjamin Netanyahu.

With his wife Sonia Photo Credit: Nati Hernik/GPO/Channel 2 News

After the loss, Peres established the "Peres Center for Peace." In 2000, he lost to Moshe Katsav in the race for presidency.

In 2006, Peres and Ariel Sharon established the Kadima party and a year later, he ran again for president and won.

Peres’ seven-year term as president ended about two years ago. However, he continued to serve Israel in many ways and received a lot of respect from leaders all over the world.

Photo Credit: GPO/Channel 2 News

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