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Shimon Peres, the last of Israel's founding fathers

Israeli President Shimon Peres gives on July 23, 2014 at the presidential compound in JerusalemShimon Peres, who stepped down as Israel’s 9th president Thursday, is the last of Israel’s founding fathers and a hawk-turned-dove whose international aura will be sorely missed by many Israelis. Now 90, Peres has stood at the forefront of Israeli politics for 65 years, demonstrating resilience in the face of innumerable challenges. He steps down as Israel was locked in yet another bloody battle with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in their worst confrontation in five years. A Nobel Laureate and elder statesman who has carved out a reputation as a peacemaker, Peres has taken advantage of his largely ceremonial post to push a political message of peace, putting him at odds with Israel’s rightwing premier, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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