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Headstone unveiled at Peres grave

JERUSALEM (AFP) – 

Israel unveiled Friday a headstone at the grave of ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres who died last month, at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The unveiling, which took place at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl national cemetery and was also attended by President Reuven Rivlin, is a ceremony held in line with Jewish tradition 30 days after a person’s death.

Peres was buried on September 30, two days after he died aged 93 following a major stroke, and a long list of world leaders including US President Barack Obama attended his funeral.

Among many quotes and epitaphs inscribed on the headstone was a verse from the Old Testament’s Book of Isaiah in tribute to the late Nobel Peace laureate.

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more,” it reads.

Next to the headstone stands a plaque with a biography of the many achievements and roles of Peres, who was considered the last of the Jewish state’s founding fathers.

“Statesman, lover of literature, poetry and art, Nobel Prize laureate, a man of vision and action,” it reads in English and Hebrew.

In a career spanning seven decades, Peres held nearly every major office, serving twice as prime minister and lastly as president from 2007 to 2014.

He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo peace accords, which envisioned an independent Palestinian state.

Peres was also an architect of Israel’s nuclear programme, with the country now considered the Middle East’s sole nuclear-armed nation, although it has never declared it.

Netanyahu has said Israel’s nuclear reactor is to be renamed in honour of Peres.

© 2016 AFP