Shimon Peres dies: global reaction to former Israeli leader's death – latest

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One of Israel’s defining political figures and a Nobel peace prize laureate dies at the age of 93, two weeks after having a stroke. Follow the latest updates here.

6.50am BST

Reports from Jerusalem this morning state the funeral for Shimon Peres will take place on Friday morning.

On Thursday, his body will lie in state at the Knesset. Members of the public will be able to attend to pay respects.

6.43am BST

FM #Steinmeier: „Shimon #Peres will be missed by all of us. We mourn for a brave and wise voice. The world has lost a great statesman.”

6.30am BST

An interesting take on Peres’s political ambition from Haaretz columnist Anshel Pfeffer, says Guardian correspondent Peter Beaumont:

Shimon Peres could have respectfully retired from political life at so many points in his career. He would have still had achieved more to build Israel’s security than nearly anyone else alive.

He could have resigned from the Knesset in the mid-1960s, following his mentor and patron David Ben-Gurion. Still in his early 40s, instead of languishing on the backbenchers, a lucrative future in business was open to him, as the man who had negotiated Israel’s most crucial arms and technology deals, and had laid the foundations for its defense industry.

6.20am BST

Meanwhile Yaakov Katz in the Jerusalem Post has this take on Peres’s wars and his political disappointments.

In his 93 years, Peres saw it all and was at every major juncture this country went through in its 68 years of statehood. On the night of November 29, 1947, when the UN voted on the Partition Plan, Peres sat with David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. “Today they dance,” Ben-Gurion said that night. “Tomorrow there will be war.”

There were many wars, and Peres played a role in them all.

6.18am BST

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

“Shimon Peres was a fierce defender of Israel’s security and its ability to defend itself. He was equally a tireless advocate for peace.”

6.09am BST

Shimon Peres, one of the founding fathers of Israel and a man “at or near the centre of action” for his country’s entire modern history, has died aged 93.

Peres, Israel’s defence, finance, and prime minister (twice) and president for seven years, did more than almost any figure in the country’s history to build up its formidable military might, then dedicated decades of his life trying to forge a lasting peace with the nation’s neighbours.

5.34am BST

“Today with deep sorrow we bid farewell to our beloved father, the 9th president of Israel,” Peres’s son Chemi said at the medical centre where his father was being treated in the final days of his life.

“Our father’s legacy has always been to look to tomorrow. We were privileged to be part of his private family, but today we sense that the entire nation of Israel and the global community share this great loss. We share this pain together.”

5.32am BST

The Guardian’s obituary says “ever since the state of Israel was created in 1948, Shimon Peres… was at or near the centre of action”.

Peres was an intriguingly contradictory figure: a romantic in a cynical age, an Israeli icon with a Polish accent and francophone sensibility, who carried about him the taint (deserved or otherwise) of political chicanery. Unlike holiness, he told David Frost, politics is built on compromise.

5.22am BST

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara express deep personal sorrow over the passing of the nation’s beloved former president, Shimon Peres,” a statement issued by the office of the prime minister reads.

“The prime minister will deliver a special address this morning and convene the cabinet for a mourning session.”

5.19am BST

Rafi Walden, Peres’s son-in-law and his physician, said the former prime minister and president “left us without suffering”.

He said world leaders who met Peres in his final years would pay deference to the statesman “like students standing before the rabbi eager to learn his lessons”.

5.11am BST

Chemi Peres on his late father:

He was one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel and served our people before we even had a country. He worked tirelessly for Israel from the very first day of the state to the last day of his life.

5.10am BST

Shimon Peres’s son Chemi is speaking to media now…

5.09am BST

Sultan al Qassemi, the prolific Emirati commentator, and founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, was among those who were less flattering in their assessment of Peres, referring to the 1996 Qana massacre when 106 people were killed by israeli shelling at a UN compound.

Shimon Peres was an example of how the world can forget someone’s crimes if they only live long enough.

5.05am BST

I will miss Shimon Peres, my brilliant and eloquent friend. His life was a blessing to all who strive for peace.

5.05am BST

On the Oslo Accords:

What we are doing today is more than signing an agreement: it is a revolution. Yesterday a dream, today a commitment.

If you have children, you cannot feed them forever with flags for breakfast and cartridges for lunch. You need something more substantial. Unless you educate your children and spend less money on conflicts, unless you develop your science, technology and industry, you don’t have a future.

For 60 years, I was the most controversial figure in the country, and suddenly I’m the most popular man in the land. Truth be told, I don’t know when I was happier, then or now.

A firm basis already exists. A solution of two national states – a Jewish state, Israel; an Arab state, Palestine. The Palestinians are our closest neighbours. I believe they may become our closest friends.

Peace with the Palestinians will open ports of peace all around the Mediterranean. The duty of leaders is to pursue freedom ceaselessly, even in the face of hostility, in the face of doubt and disappointment. Just imagine what could be.

It is unfortunate, but as you know, you can make eggs into omelettes but you cannot make omelettes back into eggs.

4.53am BST

Reflections on the legacy of of Shimon Peres continue to flow from across the world, much of it praise, but Peres was a controversial figure throughout his lifetime.

Bill and Hillary Clinton praised a “true and treasured friend”

Bill and Hillary Clinton on the death of Shimon Peres: ‘Hillary and I have lost a true and treasured friend’

Peres was an intriguingly contradictory figure: a romantic in a cynical age, an Israeli icon with a Polish accent and francophone sensibility, who carried about him the taint (deserved or otherwise) of political chicanery. Unlike holiness, he told David Frost, politics is built on compromise.

4.30am BST

I am going to hand over to my colleague Ben Doherty now. He will continue to update as more reaction comes in from around the world. Peres’s family is due to speak to the media in about half an hour.

4.25am BST

The statement said Peres was one of the “ few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people.”

Shimon was the essence of Israel itself—the courage of Israel’s fight for independence, the optimism he shared with his wife Sonya as they helped make the desert bloom, and the perseverance that led him to serve his nation in virtually every position in government across the entire life of the State of Israel. As Americans, we are in his debt because, having worked with every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy, no one did more over so many years as Shimon Peres to build the alliance between our two countries—an unbreakable alliance that today is closer and stronger than it has ever been.

Here is President Obama’s full statement on Shimon Peres:

4.16am BST

AFP have out together a list of the key dates in the life of Shimon Peres

– August 2 1923: Born Shimon Persky at Vishneva in what was then Poland and is now Belarus, he later took the Hebrew name Peres, meaning eagle.

4.09am BST

Ted Cruz, the US Republican senator, has released a statement paying tribute to Peres’s “exceptional service to the Jewish state” and his “enduring friendship with the United States.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family and our close ally Israel. May his memory be a blessing,” the statement said.

3.57am BST

Former US president George HW Bush has lauded Peres’s “singular life of service – to the universal cause of freedom, to the timeless cause of Israel, to the noblest cause of peace.”

In a statement sent to the Guardian he said:

By his unyielding determination and principle, Shimon Peres time and again helped guide his beloved country through the crucible of mortal challenge. But it was by his innate humanity, his decency, that Shimon inspired the world over and helped pave a path to peace broad enough that future generations will walk it one day, side-by side.”

3.52am BST

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has sent his condolences to Peres’s family and the Israeli nation.

Lamento la partida del ex mandatario de Israel y Premio Nobel de la Paz, Shimon Peres. Nuestras condolencias a su familia y connacionales.

3.49am BST

Peres’s death has been confirmed by by his son-in-law and doctor Rafi Walden who said that the statesman died around 3am on Wednesday morning.

3.47am BST

World leaders have started to send their tributes to Peres. The Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau posted on Twitter that Peres was “above all, a man of peace”.

Shimon Peres was, above all, a man of peace. My deepest condolences to his loved ones and to the people of Israel on his passing.

3.42am BST

Peres died at 3.40 am in the Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv where he had ben treated since suffering a stroke on September 13 surrounded by his family who told Israel radio he was “fighting until the end.”

3.40am BST

Our picture desk has collated a gallery images from the life of Shimon Peres.

Related: Former Israeli president Shimon Peres – a life in pictures

3.26am BST

Peres’s family are due to hold a press conference, where they are expected to confirm his death, at 7am in Israel (in about one and a half hours’s time).

3.24am BST

The government-run Israel News Agency has confirmed that Shimon Peres, who twice served as prime minister of Israel and later as the country’s ninth president, has died following a stroke.

We will collate reaction from around the world as it comes in.

Related: Former Israeli leader Shimon Peres dies aged 93

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Source: israel
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