JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel begins marking one year since the death of former president Shimon Peres this week with memorial events, while the respected statesman’s memoir is also being released.
Peres’s death last year led to an outpouring of grief and tributes from leaders worldwide, many of whom also attended the Nobel peace prize winner’s funeral in Jerusalem.
Tuesday will see the publication of his memoir, “No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination and the Making of Modern Israel.”
Peres had completed work on the book just weeks before his death at 93 on September 28, 2016, according to the publishers.
A series of events are being planned by Israel, while a stamp was issued on Monday in his memory.
Israel’s Peres Center for Peace will on Wednesday host President Reuven Rivlin and heads of global corporations for a conference on innovation, with former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger attending a reception that night.
The official state memorial for Peres will take place at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl national cemetery on Thursday.
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.
While Peres is hailed in the West as a peacemaker, many in the Arab world, including among the Palestinians, regard him as a “war criminal”.
They have cited his involvement in successive Arab-Israeli wars and his support for settlement building before his work on Oslo.
He was also premier in 1996 when more than 100 civilians were killed by Israeli shellfire while sheltering at a UN peacekeepers’ base in the Lebanese village of Qana.