Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s defining political figures who shared a Nobel Prize for forging a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, has died at the age of 93, two weeks after suffering a stroke.
Described as a constant force for generations in Israeli politics, Peres had twice served as prime minister of Israel and later as the country’s ninth president.
It is believed that he is one of the last of a generation of Israeli politicians who were present at the forging of the new nation in 1948.
He suffered a massive stroke about two weeks ago and had been on a respirator in an Israeli hospital near Tel Aviv. Though his conditions improved , it became worse on Tuesday leading to his eventual departure in the early hours of today.
His son Chemi led tributes to “one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel” who “worked tirelessly” for it.
In more than six decades of political life his defining achievement was as one of the key architects of the Oslo peace accords, for which he was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1994 with the then Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
Those peace agreements – signed in Washington in 1993 and Taba, Egypt in 1995, – foresaw the creation of a Palestinian state, and were named after the Norwegian capital where the two sides launched eight months of secret negotiations in which Peres played a key role.
With Peres’s death the last of that trio is now gone.