Massive security arrangements attended the arrival of world leaders, as 65 special flights landed at Ben Gurion Friday for the state funeral of the late president and prime minister, Shimon Peres, at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. The eulogies are to be off by Israel President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and conclude with US President Barack Obama’s tribute, after members of the grieving Peres family. Obama will leave for home directly after the ceremony. He arrived accompanied by Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
Thursday, former US President Bill Clinton joined thousands of Israelis paying last respects to Shimon Peres lying in state at the Knesset. The arrivals include 90 delegations from 70 countries led by the Americans, French President Francois Hollande and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, King Felippe of Spain, Prince Charles and UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and EU foreign affairs executive Federica Mogherini. Jordan is represented by Deputy Prime Minister Jawad al-Anani, Egypt, by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the Palestinians by Mahmoud Abbas.
The main highway to Jerusalem was intermittently blocked for the passage of the foreign delegations from the airport to the capital, as well as the streets around Mt. Herzl.