Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres dies at 93

By Shawn Price  |  Sept. 27, 2016 at 11:06 PM
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JERUSALEM, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, a Nobel peace prize laureate who had a stroke two weeks ago, has died at age 93, the Israel News Agency said.

Peres had been on a respirator in a Tel Aviv hospital after the stroke on Sept. 13, but had seriously deteriorated in a recent days.

Peres' crowning achievement was as one of the key players in the Oslo peace accords, for which he won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat.

The award recognized their work as the architects of the 1993 interim peace deal that to Peres' dismay never hardened into a lasting treaty.

Peres was born Szymon Perski on Aug. 2, 1923, in Wiszniewo, Poland, and grew up in Tel Aviv, after his family immigrated to Palestine in the early 1930s.

Peres served in Israel's War of Independence as head of the naval services and later became the youngest director-general of the Defense Ministry at age 29, helping develop Israel's ministry and aerospace industry.

He was elected to the Knesset in 1959, and served as prime minister from 1984 to 1986 and again as acting prime minister for seven months in 1995 and 1996 following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Peres was also elected president in 2007 and served in a multitude of other Cabinet positions during his decades of service.

Peres finished his seven-year term as president two weeks before his 91st birthday.

He created the Peres Center for Peace in 1997 to support Arab-Israeli joint ventures and he authored 12 books.

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