No less than 70 World leaders, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Prince Charles, were all in attendance in Israel as the body of its former Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres, was laid to rest today, September 30, 2016.
On Friday morning, Peres’ casket was loaded onto a hearse for the drive from the Knesset – the Israeli parliament of which he was a member for more than 45 years – to the national cemetery at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl where he was buried.
CNN gathered that a host of dignitaries and foreign leaders arrived in Jerusalem to pay their respects, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the leaders of France and Germany.
Mr Abbass landed in Israel for the first time in six years today and shook Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hand in the defining moment of Peres’ funeral amidst heavy security.
US President Barack Obama, in the final eulogy of the service, called for an end to hostilities and said Mr Abass’s decision to visit Jerusalem was ‘a gesture and a reminder of the unfinished business of peace.’
Also speaking, Mr Netanyahu said that while Israel and the world grieved for Mr Peres there was hope in his legacy.
“Shimon lived a life of purpose,” he told thousands gathered at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery.
“He soared to incredible heights. He swept so many with his vision and his hope. He was a great man of Israel.
“He was a great man of the world.”
Bill Clinton also paid tribute to Mr Peres, calling him a ‘wise champion of humanity’.
The former US president gripped his coffin and looked close to tears as he joined 70 world leaders and royals including Tony Blair, Prince Charles and King Felipe of Spain who all wore a Jewish skullcap at the ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Daily Mail reports.
The funeral was said to be the largest of such events in Israel since the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a Jewish nationalist in 1995.
Mr Peres had suffered a stroke two weeks ago and died on Wednesday in a hospital near Tel Aviv.