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Sep 28, 2016 12:52 AM

The Latest: Netanyahu will hold special Cabinet meeting

The Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on the death of former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres (all times local):

7:45 a.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold a special Cabinet meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday following the death of former President Shimon Peres.

After the Cabinet meeting, a special committee was to begin preparing funeral arrangements. Many international dignitaries and world leaders are expected to attend.


7:30 a.m.

The son-in-law of late Israeli President Shimon Peres says his family had an emotional conversation with President Barack Obama.

Dr. Rafi Walden told reporters early Wednesday the family was "very moved." Obama was a good friend of Peres and awarded the Israeli leader the presidential medal of freedom in 2012.

Walden, who was also Peres' personal physician, says Peres died overnight "without suffering."

The former Israeli leader died in the hospital where he had been treated after a major stroke two weeks ago


7:20 a.m.

Former President Bill Clinton says he and his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, lost a "treasured friend" in Shimon Peres. The former Israeli president and prime minister died early Wednesday at age 93.

Bill Clinton said in a statement that "Israel has lost a leader who championed its security, prosperity, and limitless possibilities from its birth to his last day on earth. The Middle East has lost a fervent advocate for peace and reconciliation and for a future where all the children of Abraham build a better tomorrow together. And Hillary and I have lost a true and treasured friend."

He called Peres a "genius with a big heart who used his gifts to imagine a future of reconciliation not conflict, economic and social empowerment not anger and frustration, and a nation, a region, and a world enhanced by caring and sharing, not torn asunder by the illusions of permanent dominance and perfect truth.

"His critics called him a dreamer," Clinton said. "That he was — a lucid, eloquent dreamer until the very end. Thank goodness."


7:10 a.m.

The family of former Israeli President Shimon Peres has confirmed he died Wednesday morning.

His son, Chemi, made the announcement to reporters gathered at the hospital where Peres has been treated for the past two weeks.

"Today with deep sorrow we bid farewell to our beloved father, the 9th president of Israel," he said.

"Our father's legacy has always been to look to tomorrow. We were privileged to be part of his private family, but today we sense that the entire nation of Israel and the global community share this great loss. We share this pain together."


6:50 a.m.

Former President George H.W. Bush says Shimon Peres inspired the world and helped pave a path to peace. The former Israeli president and prime minister died early Wednesday at age 93.

Bush issued a statement saying he and his wife, Barbara, "join Shimon Peres' countless admirers around the world in saluting his singular life of service — to the universal cause of freedom, to the timeless cause of Israel, to the noblest cause of peace.

He says Peres "time and again helped guide his beloved country through the crucible of mortal challenge. But it was by his innate humanity, his decency, that Shimon inspired the world over and helped pave a path to peace broad enough that future generations will walk it one day, side-by side."


6:40 a.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a statement of mourning for former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who died early Wednesday.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara express deep personal sorrow over the passing of the nation's beloved former president, Shimon Peres," the statement read. "The prime minister will deliver a special address this morning and convene the cabinet for a mourning session."


6:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama is praising former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres as a statesman whose commitment to Israel's security and the pursuit of peace "was rooted in his own unshakeable moral foundation and unflagging optimism."

Peres died early Wednesday, two weeks after suffering a stroke.

In a statement from the White House, Obama says Peres looked to the future, "guided by a vision of the human dignity and progress that he knew people of goodwill could advance together."

Obama calls Peres "the essence of Israel itself," noting Peres had fought for Israel's independence, worked its land and served Israel in virtually every government position.

Obama says that with the death of Peres, "a light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever."

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