Speaking at the state memorial service in the southern Negev desert, former Prime Minister Tony Blair paid tribute to Ariel Sharon's "idea that the Jewish people, so often victims of injustice and persecution, should have a state where they could be independent and free."
"Think good or ill of Arik Sharon, agree or disagree with him, but that calling - a noble one - was plain and unalloyed," he said.
Sharon, he added, was "a warrior to create his country, yet wise enough to know that war alone could not secure his future."
"He was a giant of this land."
Israelis have paid their final respects to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who has been buried at his family ranch in southern Israel.
By fair means or foul, Ariel Sharon’s life was dedicated to defending Israel.