Leaders gather for Peres burial amid tight security

Sep 30, 2016, 7:11 AM EDT
Former Israeli president and Nobel peace prize laureate Shimon Peres
(Source: PROChatham House/flickr)

More than 70 world leaders and dignitaries gathered in Jerusalem to attend former Israeli President and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres’ funeral ceremony on Friday. Amid unprecedented security arrangements, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extolled the “great man of the world,” adding that Peres’ legacy offers hope even as the world mourns the loss.

U.S. President Barack Obama compared Peres to the likes Nelson Mandela and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, for his contribution to world peace, writes the BBC. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who was one of the people who signed the Oslo peace accords in 1993 that earned Peres a Nobel Peace Prize, also attended the burial and was spotted shaking hands with the Israeli prime minister.

Abbas’ attendance at the ceremony angered some sections of Palestinians, which reflected in a cartoon on social media, showing Abbas clad in Israeli military uniform and mourning Peres’ death, notes The Guardian.

However, a Palestinian official said that Abbas presence at the ceremony was a strong message that the Palestinians want peace and also appreciate the efforts of peaceful men like Shimon Peres.