Former Israeli president and elder statesman Shimon Peres has died in Tel Aviv at the age of 93, according to Israel Radio, two weeks after suffering a stroke. Diane Hodges reports.
(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) SHIMON PERES, SAYING: "It is history in the real meaning of the word." When Shimon Peres said this, he was describing the Oslo agreement in 1995, but he could have been describing his life... Since he had been an integral part of Israel's history even before the country was founded. His family moved to Tel Aviv 1934, and he became involved in politics while still a teenager. He was quickly spotted by Israel's founding father, David Ben-Gurion, and military commander Moshe Dayan. During a career that stretched over nearly 70 years, Peres served Israel once as president, twice as prime minister and in a dozen different cabinets. But the highlight of his career came in 1994, when he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. (Nat of Peres and Rabin singing on stage) A year later, he was on stage with Rabin, who was then Prime minister, only moments before Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist. Peres was the man picked to take over the reins of government. (nat of Peres with Pope Francis) Peres maintained a busy public schedule and appeared to be in what his son-in-law described as "perfect condition" until suffering a massive stroke September 13. He was rushed to hospital where he remained until his death, at the age of 93. In 2013, former U.S. president Bill Clinton feted him at a party in Jerusalem. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) BILL CLINTON, SAYING: "We're here to pay tribute to the last living Israeli who knew King David." While Peres' influence didn't stretch back that far, it is clear that a vital link to Israel's past is now gone.