Date
24 May 2017
Shimon Peres was part of almost every major development in Israel since the country's founding in 1948. Photo: Reuters
Shimon Peres was part of almost every major development in Israel since the country's founding in 1948. Photo: Reuters

Former Israeli leader Shimon Peres dies at 93

Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s defining political figures and a Nobel peace prize laureate, died on Wednesday at the age of 93, two weeks after having a stroke, the official Israel News Agency reports.

Peres had been on a respirator in an Israeli hospital near Tel Aviv and died after his condition deteriorated sharply, the Guardian newspaper said, citing the INA report.

He was part of almost every major development in Israel since the country’s founding in 1948, Reuters said.

In a career spanning nearly 70 years, he served in a dozen cabinets and was twice a Labour prime minister.

He shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with the late former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for reaching an interim peace deal in 1993 which never turned into a lasting treaty.

Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by an Israeli ultra-nationalist who opposed the interim accords, and it was Peres who took over as prime minister after Rabin’s death.

Peres is widely seen as having gained nuclear capabilities for Israel by procuring the secret Dimona reactor from France while defense ministry director-general in the 1950s.

And as defense minister he oversaw the 1976 Israeli rescue of hijacked Israelis at Entebbe airport in Uganda.

Peres held the largely ceremonial post of president from 2007 to 2014 and used the pulpit to continue to advocate peace.

Earlier in September, after a series of health scares including a mild heart attack, Peres received an artificial pacemaker.

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CG

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