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Embassy opens condolences book for former PM Ariel Sharon

Monday 13 January 2014 MEDIA RELEASE: EMBASSY OF ISRAEL IN WELLINGTON

The state of Israel mourns the death of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who passed away on January 11, 2014

Ariel ('Arik') Sharon was born in 1928 in Kfar Malal. He served in the IDF for more than 30 years, retiring with the rank of Major-General.

Sharon was elected to the Knesset in December 1973, but resigned a year later, serving as security advisor to the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He was again elected to the Knesset in 1977 and was appointed Defense Minister in 1981, serving in this post during the Lebanon War. In 1998 Ariel Sharon was appointed Foreign Minister and in 2001 he was elected as Prime Minister. In January 4, 2006, Prime Minister Sharon suffered a brain hemorrhage and never regained consciousness.

On Monday, 13 January 2014, at 09:30 Israel time, a state memorial ceremony will be held at the Knesset. Following by a funeral at the "Shikmim" Farm in the Negev where he will be buried alongside his wife Lili.

Senior guests have approved their attendance in the funeral – including US Vice President Joe Biden, Quartet representative and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Czech Prime Minister and some more ministers and parliamentarians from Russia, Germany Spain, Canada Australia and more .

President Peres said of Sharon, "My dear friend, Arik Sharon, lost his final battle today. Arik was a brave soldier and a daring leader who loved his nation and his nation loved him. He was one of Israel's great protectors and most important architects, who knew no fear and certainly never feared vision. He knew how to take difficult decisions and implement them. We all loved him and he will be greatly missed. I send my condolences to the Sharon family. May he rest in peace."

The Embassy of Israel in Wellington will open up a condolences book on Tuesday 14 January and Wednesday 15 January from 13.00-16.00 at its premises on 36 Brandon Street, Wellington. All members of the public are invited to leave a message of condolences to this book, as well as the Embassy’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/IsraelinNewZealand )Twitter (https://twitter.com/IsraelinNZ) or by to the Embassy’s email address: info@wellington.mfa.gov.il which afterwards will be included in the condolence book and presented to the Sharon family.

May his memory be blessed.

Ends.

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