Ben Gurion Airport prepares for arrival of many high ranking foreign officials

About 50 private planes carrying senior level foreign officials are expected to land in Israel within the next 24 hours. Among the foreign officials who will attend Shimon Peres’ funeral are U.S. President Barack Obama, French President François Hollande and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The list of high ranking officials who plan to attend Shimon Peres’ funeral tomorrow (Friday) at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl includes about 80 names of presidents, prime minister, ministers, heads of parliament, ambassadors and other representatives from all over the world. The White House confirmed that U.S. President Barack Obama will attend the funeral and the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry is preparing for his arrival.

Many private planes will be arriving at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport within the next 24 hours. At 9:30 AM today, former U.S. President Bill Clinton will land in Israel. The airport will be split into two sections, one for the regular air traffic and the other for the almost 50 private planes that will be arriving in Israel.

Preparing for the arrival of dozens of world leaders Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash 90/Channel 2 News

Each foreign official will be greeted at the airport and the private planes will be moved to a secure plane-parking area. The motorcades of the foreign officials will leave for Jerusalem as several police vehicles accompany them. Thus, heavy traffic is expected on the main roads leading to Israel’s capital city.

So far, no Muslim or Arab leader has stated that he or she plans to attend Peres’ funeral. However, there will most likely be such a name added to the list at the last moment. The Arab news website Al-Araby Al-Jadeed quoted an Egyptian diplomat who said that Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry will represent his country at the funeral. According to the same source, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sent a condolence letter to senior level Israeli officials following the news of Peres’ passing.

Peres and Clinton Photo Credit: Moshe Miller/Government Press Office/Channel 2 News

Some of the foreign officials who are planning to attend the funeral:

U.S.- President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

France- President François Hollande, former President Nicolas Sarkozy, Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Mexico- President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Singapore- Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen.

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