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  1. ITV Report

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres dies aged 93

  • Video report by ITV News Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent.

Former Israeli prime minister and president Shimon Peres has died, aged 93.

Peres led a sceptical Israel into peace talks with the Palestinians in the 1990s and was a celebrated Nobel prize-winning visionary.

He stepped down as president in 2014 at the end of a seven-year term and suffered a heart attack in January this year.

Israel's ninth president was taken to hospital in Ramat Gan earlier this month after suffering a stroke, and had made progress before a sudden deterioration in his condition on Tuesday.

He passed away at around 3am on Wednesday at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

It is not clear when his funeral will take place.

Benjamin Netanyahu chats with Shimon Peres in 2013. Credit: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his "deep personal grief" at Peres' death.

A statement read: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, express their deep personal grief on the passing of the beloved of the nation, former Israeli President Shimon Peres."

The Israeli cabinet will convene later for special session of mourning, and Netanyahu will deliver a personal message.

Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Israeli President Shimon Peres in 2012. Credit: Reuters

Peres was one of the most admired leaders at home and abroad, and the last surviving link to Israel's founding fathers.

He filled nearly every position in Israeli public life in an unprecedented seven-decade political career.

Shimon Peres' doctor and son-in-law Rafi Walden said his legacy "will remain with us all".

In a statement read inside the Sheba Medical Center, Shimon Peres' son Chami, explained how the "entire nation of Israel, and the global community" will mourn together.

Today, with deep sorrow, we bid farewell to our beloved father.

He was one of the founding fathers of this state of Israel and served our people before we even had a country of our own. He served tirelessly from the very first day of the state to the last day of his life.

Throughout his 70 years of public service, he was committed to Israel - serving as president, prime minster, minister of defense and many other key positions which shaped our history.

He had no interest other than serving the people of Israel, of whom he had great love.

Our father's legacy has always been the future. 'Look to tomorrow' he told us, build Israel's future with courage and with wisdom and always continue to strive for peace.

We were privileged to have been part of his private family but today we stand with the entire nation of Israel, and the global community to mourn this great loss.

We share this pain together.

– Chami Peres, Shimon Peres' son

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