Shimon Peres, former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, died today aged 93. Here's what you need to know about him:
- He was prime minister between 1984 and 1986, then again from 1995-1996 after Yitzak Rabin’s assassination. He served as president, a mainly ceremonial role, from 2007-2014.
- Peres was one of the architects of the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians, reached in 1993 and 1995. The agreements provided for limited Palestinian self-governence and were meant to lead to a final peace agreement.
- In 1994 he won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
- He was seen as Israel’s last remaining founding father and held nearly every major office in a career spanning five decades.
- As director general of the defence ministry in the 1950s, he oversaw the development of Israel’s nuclear programme. Israel is now considered the Middle East’s sole nuclear power, but it has never declared it, maintaining a policy of ambiguity. “Dimona (the site of Israel’s nuclear reactor) helped us to achieve Oslo,” he said in the Time interview.
- He joined the Zionist struggle in the 1940s and met David Ben-Gurion, who would become Israel’s first prime minister and Peres’s mentor.