Bill Clinton Pays Respects to Shimon Peres at Knesset Memorial

Leaders, civilians say farewell to Shimon Peres at public viewing ahead of Friday's funeral.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton next to the coffin of former President Shimon Peres, at the Knesset plaza on September 29, 2016.
Olivier Fitoussi

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton arrived at the Knesset in Jerusalem Thursday to pay respects before the casket of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, which went on display for public viewing earlier in the morning.

Clinton stood before the casket alongside President Reuven Rivlin and Speaker of the Knesset Yuri Edelstein.

Thousands of civilians were also expected to visit and pay respects to the late leader.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands before the coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Knesset plaza in Jerusalem September 29, 2016.
Olivier Fitoussi

Ahead of the public viewing, Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Edelstein layed wreaths at the coffin and Knesset members said their final farewells. 

Hundreds of civilians were already lined up in the Knesset plaza as the public viewing began.

U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro was expected to visit the Knesset in the early afternoon and the ambassador from El Salvador also planned to arrive at noon.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin places a wreath by the coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, in Jerusalem,  September 29, 2016.
Olivier Fitoussi

Peres' coffin will remain in the Knesset plaza and open to viewing until 11 P.M. Thursday evening, ahead of his funeral on Friday morning.

Peres' funeral on Friday is expected to be one of the largest and most complex events ever to be held in Israel with security and logistics playing a major role in preparation for the arrival of dozens of international dignitaries who will pay their respects to Peres.

These include U.S. President Barack Obama as well Canada's Justin Trudeau and other world leaders.

Isaac Herzog stands before the coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Knesset plaza in Jerusalem September 29, 2016.
Olivier Fitoussi
Israeli member of parliament Mickey Levy (3rd R) stands in front of the flag-draped coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, as he lies in state at the Knesset plaza, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem September 29, 2016.
Amir Cohen, Reuters
An Israeli man lays a wreath near a portrait of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, as a woman photographs nearby, as Peres lies in state at the Knesset plaza, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem September 29, 2016.
Amir Cohen, Reuters
Israeli member of parliament Yisrael Eichler prays besides the flag-draped coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, as he lies in state at the Knesset plaza, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem September 29, 2016.
Ronen Zvulun, Reuters

Preparations for the funeral are being overseen by culture Minister Miri Regev in cooperation with a mass of security forces including the Israel Police, the Border Police, the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service.

"Facing us is a complex event that requires extraordinary coordination between all institutions. We must treat it as a well-planned operation."