President Shimon Peres, the last of Israel’s founders still in public life, has paid an emotional tribute to Ariel Sharon, known to Israelis as Arik.
“Ariel Sharon was a great architect and outstanding defender of his state. He turned the tides of the Yom Kippur war from an initial menace to a surprising victory. He paved the way to peace with Egypt.
“He knew no fear, he took difficult decisions and he implemented them courageously.”
Peres added: “In the earlier years and throughout we kept our friendship in the most moving way. I shall miss him dearly and remember him lovingly.
“Our heart is with his family, who stood by his side day and night until the last moment. May he rest in peace.”