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JERUSALEM (CBSMiami) — Even to his own people, Shimon Peres was a puzzle. He spoke eloquent Hebrew, but with a foreign accent, lacked formal education yet brimmed with culture, was a mediocre politician, but became a statesman of spectacular vision.

Numerous reports have stated that former Israeli President Shimon Peres has passed away at the age of 93. CBS News is expecting an official announcement within the hour.

His service in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, was to last a record 48 years. He served as a minister in 12 cabinets and was prime minister twice.

Although much of it remains secret even today, Peres is considered the father of Israel’s nuclear program.

His political career encompassed all of Israel’s wars, but Peres believed his country’s security lay as much in making peace as it did in being prepared for conflict.

As Foreign Minister, Peres was in charge of the peace process with the Palestinians.

“The Oslo Accord,” signed at the White House in 1993, won Peres, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat the Nobel Peace prize.

Peres used his two terms as president to promote Israel’s standing in the world, and his quest for peace.

His dream of Middle East peace remains unfulfilled, but not for lack of trying on Shimon Peres’ part.


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