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Shimon Peres, former Israeli president, dies aged 93

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 28, 2016 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionShimon Peres, the last of Israel’s founding fathers, spoke to the BBC’s Lyse Doucet just before his 90th birthday

Former Israeli PM and president Shimon Peres has died aged 93.

He suffered a stroke two weeks ago and his condition improved before a sudden deterioration on Tuesday.

Mr Peres, who was one of the last of a generation of Israeli politicians present at the new nation’s birth in 1948, served twice as the country’s prime minister and once as president.

He won the Nobel Peace prize in 1994 for his role negotiating peace accords with the Palestinians a year earlier.

He once said the Palestinians were Israel’s “closest neighbours” and might become its “closest friends”.

Obituary: Shimon Peres, Israeli founding father

Long legacy of Israel’s elder statesman

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Getty Images

Image caption

Mr Peres shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his part in negotiating a peace deal with the Palestinians

Mr Peres shared his Nobel Peace Prize with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was later assassinated, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

At the start of his long political career, he was put in charge of personnel and arms purchases for the Haganah, the predecessor of the Israel Defense Forces.

He secured a deal with France to supply the new Israeli nation with Mirage jet fighters. He also set up Israel’s secret nuclear facility.

Once an advocate of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Peres later became a leading political dove. He often spoke of the need for compromise over territorial demands in Palestinian areas.

Media captionShimon Peres in 2013: ‘Live in peace side by side’

He maintained an active public schedule into old age, mostly through his non-governmental Peres Centre for Peace, which promotes closer ties between Israel and the Palestinians.

He retired from his role as president in 2014.


Who was Shimon Peres?

  • Born in 1923 in Wisniew, Poland, now Vishneva, Belarus
  • First elected to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in 1959
  • Served in 12 governments, including once as president and twice as prime minister
  • Seen as a hawk in his early years – negotiated arms deals for the fledgling nation
  • A member of the government that approved the building of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory
  • But played a key part in reaching the Oslo peace accords, the first deal between Israel and the Palestinians, which said they would “strive to live in peaceful coexistence”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37492153

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