Ariel Sharon's Coffin Placed at Knesset to Allow Israelis to Pay Final Respects

The funeral procession will begin Monday with an official ceremony at the Knesset at 9:30 A.M., after which 8 army generals will accompany the coffin to Sycamore Ranch, with a stop in Latrun for an IDF ceremony.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's coffin was placed at the Knesset Plaza, where it remained until 6 P.M. local time to allow the Israeli public to pay its last respects.

Private vehicles will be denied access to the Knesset, but transportation will be provided to the seat of Israel's parliament at no cost. Shuttles began running between the Knesset and the parking lots of Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem and Latrun at 11 A.M.

Sharon's military funeral is scheduled to take place on Monday at 2:00 P.M. at Anemone Hill, where his wife Lily is buried, overlooking his home, Sycamore Ranch.

Sharon's coffin was brought via motorcade to the Knesset on Sunday from the Chief Rabbinate in Tzrifin, east of Rishon Letzion in central Israel. Members of the Knesset Guard transferred the coffin to the parliament plaza accompanied by eight Israel Defense Forces major-generals.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem with a moment of silence in memory of Sharon.

"Arik was first and foremost a fighter and a commander, one of the greatest military men the people of Israel has seen in modern times and in its history," Netanyahu said in his eulogy of Sharon. "In every post – as defense minister, housing minister, infrastructure minister, foreign minister – Arik contributed to the state of Israel, and he did this as prime minister as well."

"He was tied to the land, he knew it was necessary to protect the land, and he understood above all that our existence is the ability to defend ourselves with our own forces," Netanyahu added.

The funeral procession will begin Monday with an official ceremony at the Knesset at 9:30 A.M., with keynote speeches by Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. The army-presided procession will then head toward Sharon's Sycamore Ranch in the Negev, with a stop in Latrun, where a special Israel Defense Forces ceremony will be held.

Eight IDF generals will accompany Sharon's coffin from the Knesset compound to the funeral at Sycamore Ranch: Deputy IDF Chief Gadi Eizenkot, Gadi Shamni, Israel Navy Commander Ram Rotber, Israel Air Force Chief Amir Eshel, Ground Forces Commander Guy Zur, GOC Southern Command Shlomo Turgeman, Military Intelligence Chief Aviv Kochavi and GOC Northern Command Yair Golan.

Generals salute Sharon's coffinCredit: AP
Sharon and George W. Bush, Texas 2005
Begin and Sharon in Elon Moreh, 1978
Ariel Sharon in Beirut, 1982
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Sharon and George W. Bush, Texas 2005Credit: Reuters
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Begin and Sharon in Elon Moreh, 1978Credit: Herman Hananya / GPO
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Ariel Sharon in Beirut, 1982Credit: AP
Ariel Sharon

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