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.
Follow Haaretz’s live updates:
9:20 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.
9:15 AM 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 AM 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 AM 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 AM 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 AM 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.