Shimon Peres, Former Israeli President and a Founder of Israel, Dies at 93

(Photo: Reuters/Jean-Marc Loos/Files)Israel's President Shimon Peres attends a press conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, in this March 12, 2013, file photo.
(Photo: Reuters/Baz Ratner/Files)Israel's President Shimon Peres speaks during an interview with Reuters at his residence in Jerusalem in this June 16, 2013, file photo.
(Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen)Pope Francis (L) walks with Israel's President Shimon Peres at the president's residence in Jerusalem May 26, 2014. Pope Francis navigated the minefield of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and humbly bowed to kiss the hands of Holocaust survivors on Monday, the last day of a Mideast trip laden with bold personal gestures.
(Photo: Reuters/Blair Gable/Files)Israel's President Shimon Peres takes part in a meeting with Governor General David Johnston (not pictured) at Rideau Hall in Ottawa in this May 7, 2012, file photo.
(Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse/Files)Israel's President Shimon Peres smiles as he addresses delegates during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos in this January 24, 2013, file photo.
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Former Israeli president and elder statesman Shimon Peres died in Tel Aviv on Wednesday aged 93, Israel Radio said.

Peres was hospitalized following a stroke two weeks ago and had made some progress before a sudden deterioration in his condition on Tuesday.

An official announcement of the death of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former prime minister was expected at around 7 a.m. local time (04:00 GMT). Details of the timing of the funeral were also expected.

Peres was part of almost every major development in Israel since 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 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with the late former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for reaching an interim peace deal in 1993 which never turned into a lasting treaty.

(Photo: Reuters/Jerry Lampen/Files)PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (from L to R) show their shared Nobel Peace Prize awards to the audience in the Oslo City Hall in Oslo in this December 10, 1994, file photo.

Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by an Israeli ultra-nationalist who opposed the interim accords, and it was Peres who took over as prime minister after Rabin's death.

Peres is widely seen as having gained nuclear capabilities for Israel by procuring the secret Dimona reactor from France while defense ministry director-general in the 1950s. And as defense minister oversaw the 1976 Israeli rescue of hijacked Israelis at Entebbe airport in Uganda.

Peres held the largely ceremonial post of president from 2007-2014 and used the pulpit to continue to advocate peace.

Earlier in September, after a series of health scares including a mild heart attack, Peres received an artificial pacemaker.

(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Michael Perry)

(Photo: Reuters)U.S. President Barack Obama (L) presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Israeli President Shimon Peres in the East Room of the White House in Washington in this June 13, 2012, file photo.