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Thousands pay last respects to Peres in Israel

AP  |  Jerusalem 

Thousands of mourners today payed respects to the late Shimon Peres outside Israel's building in

Thousands of people were visiting the site, where Peres' casket lay in state ahead of his funeral in tomorrow.

Israeli police say 8,000 police officers have been deployed to maintain order during the mourning period.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that officers will also monitor social media for potential attackers.

Scores of foreign leaders, including US President Barack Obama, are expected at the funeral at Israel's national cemetery in

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, French President Francois Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck are also among scores of world leaders attending Peres' funeral.

It is expected to be the largest such gathering in since the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated by a Jewish nationalist in 1995.

Peres died yesterday from complications following a stroke. He was 93.

Former US President Bill Clinton today joined thousands of mourners in payign respects to Peres. Clinton and his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, have said they lost "a true and treasured friend" in Peres.

The son-in-law and personal physician of Shimon Peres said the former Israeli president left behind detailed plans for his funeral.

Dr. Rafi Walden says Peres requested that his three children speak, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, a foreign dignitary and an Israeli cultural figure.

Walden said Peres also requested local singer David D'or sing at his funeral. Walden predicted the song would be the prayer "Avinu Malkeinu," or "Our Father Our King." Jews sing the prayer on the Day of Atonement, which falls this year in mid-October.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker have sent a letter of condolence to Israel's President Reuven Rivlin following the death of the country's ninth President Shimon Peres.

In their letter released today, the two call Peres "a champion of peace" who forged "close ties of friendship and cooperation between and other parts of the world, including Europe."

Peres shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for attempting to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since then, the peace process has collapsed. European leaders frequently criticise Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, September 29 2016. 18:07 IST