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World leaders gather for funeral of former Israeli PM Peres


Shimon Peres
Jerusalem (CNN)The body of former Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres will be laid to rest in a funeral attended by world leaders flanked by heavy security.
Early 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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in attendance
Obama to speak at funeral along with former US President Bill Clinton

World leaders
A long list of dignitaries and foreign leaders arrived in Jerusalem to pay their respects, including President Barack Obama, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the leaders of France and Germany.

President Obama took time to greet guests before the ceremony.

A video tweeted by a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed him shaking hands with President Abbas.






The moment appears to have taken place before the two leaders entered the funeral.
Abbas took his seat in the large white tent on Mount Herzl, while Obama sat next to Chemi Peres, one of Shimon Peres' sons.


Members of the Knesset guard carry the coffin of former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres.
Around 8,000 police officers have been deployed at key locations to protect world leaders amid fears of a "lone wolf" terrorist attack.
Though Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told CNN Thursday that there was "no concrete intelligence whatsoever" about any potential attacks.

Amanpour: Will peace be buried with Peres?


Former US president Bill Clinton was in attendance to pay his respects to Peres.

Tributes
In his eulogy, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Peres had "lived a live of purpose... he was a great man of Israel, he was a great man of the world."
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who gave the first eulogy, said that Peres was "the man of whom we thought time could never stop."
"Your stubborn faith in mankind and the good of people -- in the victory of progress over ignorance, in the victory of hope over fear -- was your eternal fountain of youth, thanks to which you were the eternal fountain of youth for all of us."

Israelis pay respects
Peres' body was lying in state Thursday at the Knesset ahead of Friday's funeral ceremony.
A steady trickle of mourners streamed past police and journalists to pay their last respects, with many stopping to take selfies with the flag-draped coffin in the background.


Israelis wait to pass by the coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, September 29, 2016.
An estimated 25,000 people passed in the first eight hours of public visitations, Knesset spokesman Yotam Yakir said.
Some expressed admiration and respect for the man, even though they disagreed with him politically.
"My heart wanted to come and take part in this day. We say goodbye to an icon that represents Israel in the world and I wanted to thank him," said a 25-year-old Jerusalemite who identified himself as Jonathan D.


Former President of Israel Shimon Peres attends the Ambrosetti International Forum on September 2, 2016, in Cernobbio, Italy. "There's no corner of this country that he hasn't touched," Zionist Union Chairman Isaac Herzog said of the elderly statesman. "The greatness of Shimon Peres is that he is beyond age. Everywhere he goes around the world, people listen to him."
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But, he added, "I was against a lot of things and ideas he supported related to the Palestinians and the peace process. Oslo was not a benefit for Israel. But I am sure that Mr. Peres did those things because he thought it was the best thing for Israel."
Reut Ran supported Peres on the peace process, but fears it has no future without him.
"Not with the political climate here today becoming more right-wing and more violent," said Ran, who was born in Israel, spent 30 years in the US and moved back to Israel six years ago.
Israelis on alert for terror attack at Peres funeral

Shimon Peres died at 93 01:06

Presidents, royals also attend


French President Francois Hollande and Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, were both in attendance.
Prince Charles and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson are also attending, along with former UK Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron.
The presidents of France, Germany, Ukraine, the Ivory Coast, Togo, Mexico, Lithuania, Serbia and Romania and NATO's secretary general and the grand duke of Luxembourg, among others were also due to attend.
Arab leaders are notably absent, although the King of Morocco was expected to send a representative.

CNN's Oren Liebermann and Amir Tal reported from Jerusalem, while Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London. CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali, Richard Allen Greene and Abeer Salman contributed to this report.

Source: James Masters, Oren Liebermann, Richard Allen Greene and Tal Amir, CNN.
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