World Bulletin/News Desk
The late ex-prime minister of Israel Ariel Sharon will be buried next to the grave of his wife at Negev Desert with a military funeral on Monday, following a state memorial service at the Israeli parliament Knesset, said Israeli Prime Ministry.
A committee to organize the state ceremony for Sharon scheduled to take place on Monday issued a written statement and released the details of the ceremony after a 6-hour overnight meeting at Israeli Prime Ministry.
Before the funeral, his body will lie in state at Knesset on Monday morning for public visiting amid strict security measures and no private vehicles will be allowed into the compound, detailed the statement.
All plenary sessions and committee meetings at the Knesset were postponed until after the funeral of Israel's eleventh prime minister who died on Saturday after eight-year in coma.
Several world leaders are expected to attend Sharon's funeral, including US Vice President Joe Biden.
Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein along with Sharon's family members will reportedly make remarks during the state ceremony at the Knesset.
Among the other attendees of the funeral ceremony will be Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Czech Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, and Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander.
Israelis pay last respects, Arabs celebrate
Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's body lay in state on Sunday outside parliament in Jerusalem, where thousands of Israelis waited to bid farewell.
In parliament's main plaza, Israelis filed past Sharon's coffin, which was draped in the blue-and-white national flag.
The mood was sombre but not deeply mournful, eight years after Sharon fell from public view. A few in the crowd wept, but many others paused to snap photographs of the coffin with their cellphones.
Sharon was widely hated by Arabs over the 1982 massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila camp in Beirut.
In 1983 an Israeli state inquiry found Sharon, who as defence minister engineered Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon and war against Palestinian fighters there, indirectly responsible for the Sabra and Shatila killings, and he was forced to resign his post.
"The Palestinian people remember what Sharon did and tried to do to our people and their dream of forming a state," Wael Abu Yousef, a senior member of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation, told Reuters.
Palestinians in Gaza handed out sweets to passersby and motorists in celebration of Sharon's death.
"We have become more confident in victory with the departure of this tyrant (Sharon)," said Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesman for Hamas, the Islamist faction governing Gaza.
Palestinians also accuse Sharon of sparking their "Intifada" with a provocative visit to the al Aqsa mosque plaza in Jerusalem's Old City in 2000, a year before he took power.Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2014, 15:42