Shimon Peres said to be "close to death"

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By Catherine Hardy  with REUTERS
Shimon Peres said to be "close to death"

Former Israeli president and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres is said to be in a grave condition in hospital.

The 93-year-old was taken into hospital after a major stroke two weeks ago.

His condition was improving until he had a severe setback on Tuesday, according to Israeli media.

A hospital spokesperson said his condition “was and remains serious, there is a real threat to his life.”

Peres, Israel’s most eminent elder statesman, was part of almost every major development from the country’s founding in 1948.

In a career spanning nearly 70 years, he served in a dozen cabinets and was twice a Labour prime minister.

He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the late former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for the interim Oslo peace accord.