Netanyahu, Abbas Shake Hands at Shimon Peres' Funeral: 'It's Been a Long Time'
Peres' casket en route to Mount Herzl as Israel prepares to bury former president | Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban join world leaders to pay last respects to the Nobel peace prize laureate at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl.
World leaders and dignitaries from 70 countries poured into Israel Friday for the state funeral of Israel’s ninth president, Shimon Peres, in Jerusalem on Friday, after thousands of Israelis paid last respects to the elder statesman who died on Wednesday.
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9:56 A.M President Reuven Rivlin, the first to eulogize late statesman Shimon Peres at his funeral on Friday, called his predecessor a peace seeker who moved mountains whose death marks "the end of an era" for the country, also apologizing for vociferous right-wing criticism of his diplomatic achievements.
"You taught many around the world to love the State of Israel," Rivlin said at Peres's graveside at a Mt. Herzl burial attended by 70 world leaders, bidding farewell to the late elder statesman and Nobel laureate, widely admired for his peacemaking efforts with the Palestinians.
9:40 A.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin entered the tent and were seated immediately afterwards. Netanyahu and his wife greeted the numerous heads of state and dignitaries in attendance, and took their seats next to U.S. President Barack Obama in the front row.
9:20 A.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara greeted Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas as he arrived. Netanyahu and Palestinian Abbas shook hands and spoke during ahead of the funeral for Shimon Peres.
At the request of the Peres family, Abbas is seated in the front row.
Abbas told Netanyahu during their snap meeting that ''it's been a long time since we last met." Netanyahu responded: "I very much appreciate that you came to the funeral.
9:15 A.M. Dignitaries including former British Prime Ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair, Prince Charles, and former President Bill Clinton have arrived at Mt. Herzl and joined the crowd of over 500 mourners are taking their seats under the large white tent erected on Mt. Herzl in front of Peres' grave.
9:10 A.M. Spotted: Casino billionaire, major Republican party and Trump campaign donor, and key Netanyahu supporter Sheldon Adelson is attending the funeral. Also present is Democratic mega donor Haim Saban, who flew to Israel in his private jet with former President Bill Clinton.
8:45 A.M. Former President Peres' casket was carried by a military honor guard from the Knesset to a vehicle that will take his body to Mount Herzl.
His large family was gathered behind as a military rabbi and cantor chanted the traditional Jewish prayers of mourning. The family joined in the Kaddish prayer.
8:31 A.M. Major routes were closed to traffic in the capital ahead of former President Shimon Peres' funeral at Mount Herzl.
The routes are set to reopen after attendants leave the burial site at the end of the funeral.
8:05 A.M. U.S. President Barack Obama landed at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport shortly after 8 A.M on his way to former President Shimon Peres' funeral in Jerusalem.
Route 1, which leads to the capital, was shut ahead of the American president's arrival.