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Palestinian leader to attend Peres funeral

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Obama Netanyahu mourn death of Israel's Shimon Peres

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

Clinton landed in Israel Thursday morning.

The leaders of Egypt and Jordan, the only Arab states to have signed peace treaties with Israel, were not on the roster of participants issued by Israel's Foreign Ministry.

Scores of world leaders are expected to attend Peres' state funeral in Jerusalem on Friday, including President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and French President Francois Hollande.

The wreath-laying ceremony started as President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Speaker of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein paid their respects, Xinhua news agency reported.

Canadian leaders of all stripes are paying tribute to Shimon Peres, remembering the Israeli statesman for his tireless dedication to Israel and peace.

The several days before a major Yom Tov are usually quite hectic, but a significant uptick in traffic was noticed already Wednesday night, as people sought to make their purchases before the traffic and road restrictions Thursday and Friday made movement in the city next to impossible. "My friend Shimon was one of those people", Obama said.

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So far, no Arab countries have confirmed whether any senior officials will attend Peres's funeral.

Considering how elusive peace was for Shimon Peres and how concrete were his accomplishments as minister of finance, perhaps the committee in Oslo should have awarded Peres the Nobel Prize for Economics rather than the Nobel Peace Prize.

In contrast to an outpouring of grief from Western leaders, Arab leaders have remained largely silent over Peres' death. In top Israeli leadership roles over the decades - including prime minister and president - the Labor Party veteran became a face of the Jewish State, instantly recognized and well-respected in Israel and across the globe.

When his body was laid in state the day before the funeral, the queue of Israelis waiting to pay their respects to the 73-year-old premier stretched for nearly three kilometres (two miles).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Peres "as a champion of Israel's defence" who "strengthened its capacities in many ways, some of them still unacknowledged to this day". The following year, Peres shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Former President George H.W. Bush noted Peres' "innate humanity, his decency", while his son, former President George W. Bush, noted that his family "will miss Shimon Peres and his grace, dignity, and optimism".

Peres served twice as Israel's prime minister. Peres was prime minister at the time and Israel said its forces had been aiming at Hezbollah militants firing rockets nearby.

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