(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israel mourned the death of former President Shimon Peres Wednesday, as leaders from across the political spectrum paid tribute to the last of Israel's founding fathers and the country's most veteran statesman.
The government convened a special mourning session at 10 a.m. Wednesday, which began with a moment of silence in Peres' honor.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eulogized Peres: "I join the Israeli public, the Jewish people and many worldwide, bowing my head in memory of the nation's beloved, Shimon Peres.
"Shimon dedicated his life to our people's independence. As a visionary, he looked to the future. As a defense official, he worked to bolster Israel in many ways, some of which remain covert to this day. As a man of peace, he worked to his last days to promote peace with our neighbors, to forge a better future for our children.
President Reuven Rivlin also eulogized his predecessor, saying Peres was "young at heart and had an unwavering belief in the ability to achieve one's goals."
"Peres never stopped creating and dreaming, always in the service of the State of Israel and its people. There is not a chapter in the history of the State of Israel which Shimon did not write or play a part.
Peres' funeral will take place on Friday. He will lie in state at the Knesset Plaza on Thursday, to allow the public to bid farewell to Israel's most veteran statesman.
Dozens of world leaders are expected to attend the state service, which will be held at the Great Leaders of the Nation's plot on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.