Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Hamas: Abbas participation in Peres funeral 'great sin'

Howard Terry | 10 October, 2016, 01:46

Among the mourners at Peres's funeral on Friday were US President Barack Obama, former US president Bill Clinton, French President Francois Hollande, Britain's Prince Charles, German President Joachim Gauck and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He said Israel's ninth President had shown that "justice and hope" were at the heart of the Zionist ideal.

"In many ways he reminded me of some other giants of the 20th century that I had the honour to meet: men like Nelson Mandela, women like Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth", said Obama, who wore a black Jewish skullcap. He was a great man of Israel; he was a great man of the world.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, arriving in Israel a day before the burial, visited the plaza in front of parliament to stand, head bowed, in front of Peres's casket.

Peres, whose name is synonymous with Israel's history, served stints as prime minister, president and foreign minister.

Air Force One is the last plane in the world that you'd expect to have a tarmac delay, right? Obama watched as the coffin was lowered and 10 wreaths were placed next to the grave. The points of similarity with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were clear. "We are deeply moved", Walden said.

Indeed, Obama presented himself and Peres as sharing not only a common historical fate with the nations they have led, but also a similar worldview that favors optimism and the pursuit of peace over sowing fear and intimidation.

Abbas attended the funeral accompanied by a delegation of three Palestinian Authority officials, including chief peace negotiator and PLO Executive Committee Secretary General Saeb Erekat. "Your presidency has given the closest ties between Israel and the United States a new height, a sense of intimacy, a vision for the future". Peres passed away early Wednesday at the age of 93, two weeks after suffering a massive stroke.

In the final and most political speech of a long programme yesterday at the national cemetery on Mount Herzl, Mr Obama said Mr Peres had told him Jews should not rule over another people and that Palestinians were entitled to dignity and self-determination.

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