At a special session to mourn and honor Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet that the late president “did so much to protect our people.”
“This is the first day in Israel without Shimon Peres,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the meeting on Wednesday morning, followed by a moment of silence.
“In the name of the entire Jewish people, in the name of the citizens and government of the State of Israel, I also send deep condolences to Shimon’s family,” he said at the meeting in which he enumerated Peres’ accomplishments on behalf of Israel.
Netanyahu earlier released a statement in which he noted that Peres, who died that morning two weeks after suffering a massive stroke, “devoted his life to our nation and to the pursuit of peace.”
The prime minister wrote: “He set his gaze on the future. He did so much to protect our people.
“He worked to his last days for peace and a better future for all. As Israel’s President, Shimon did so much to unite the nation. And the nation loved him for it.
“His name will be forever engraved in the story of the rebirth of the Jewish people, as one of our great leaders, as one of the founding fathers of the State of Israel.”