1923-2016

Shimon Peres, Israel's Elder Statesman and Nobel Peace Laureate, Dies at 93

Shimon Peres, a former president and prime minister, suffered a major stroke from which he never recovered.

Then-President Shimon Peres gives an interview to the Associated Press at the President's residence in Jerusalem June 16, 2013.
Former president and prime minister Shimon Peres. Sebastian Scheiner, AP

Two weeks after suffering a major stroke, Israel's nonagenarian former president and unwavering voice for peace Shimon Peres passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 93.

Peres' family delivered a farewell statement to the press just after 7 A.M. at the Sheba Medical Center. 

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"Today with deep sorrow we bid farewell to our beloved father, the 9th president of Israel," Peres' son Chemi said.

"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."

His funeral is set to be held on Friday, official sources told Haaretz, and will be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while a Channel 2 report said that the public will be able to pay its respects a day earlier.

Peres had been hospitalized at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer since suffering the stroke. His condition had been serious but stable, until it suffered a serious deterioration on Tuesday and he passed away, surrounded by his family.

Over a seven-decade career, Peres held virtually every senior political office in Israel, including three terms as prime minister and stints as foreign and finance minister. He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in reaching an interim peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Doctors were cautiously optimistic about his condition when he was initially hospitalized two weeks ago, after Peres showed signs that he had not lost his cognitive and motor capabilities following his stroke. However, as the days passed, particularly the past few days, the feeling was that time is running out for Peres.

Peres had a massive stroke while in hospital for a checkup. He was hospitalized and an initial scan showed that a blood clot had caused a brain hemorrhage. A second scan revealed massive bleeding which could cause irreversible damage.

A stroke is a medical condition in which there is an interruption of blood flow to a certain part of the brain. The causes can be a hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, which can block blood vessels, a clot, or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain which can cause intracranial bleeding.

Earlier this year, Peres was twice hospitalized for heart problems but quickly released.