Bahrain minister calls Israel's Peres 'a man of peace'

Bahrain minister calls Israel's Peres 'a man of peace'
2 min read
29 September, 2016
Bahrain's foreign minister described the recently deceased formed Israeli leader Shimon Peres as 'a man of war and a man of the still elusive peace'.
The Bahraini foreign minister issued the statement in a tweet [Getty

Bahrain's foreign minister sent his condolences to Israel following the death of Shimon Peres, describing the former leader as "a man of war and a man of the still elusive peace".

Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa's comments were the first from an Arab nation to follow those remarks from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"Rest in peace President Shimon Peres, a man of war and a man of the still elusive peace in the Middle East," the Bahraini foreign minister said in a tweet.

The unofficial comment came despite there being no official diplomatic ties between the two states.

On Wednesday, Abbas said that Peres had been a "partner in creating peace" and "made intensive efforts to reach a long-lasting peace since the Oslo agreement and until the last breath".

On Thursday, Haaretz reported that the Palestinian leader had sent a request to attend the funeral on Friday that was shortly approved by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Peres' coffin arrived at the Knesset parliament building in Jerusalem on Thursday morning where it is set to lie throughout the day. Thousands of mourners are set to visit the Knesset to pay their respects.

A spokesman for the Palestinian group Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhri, told AP that "the Palestinian people are very happy at the passing of this criminal".

Hamas also called for a "day of rage" on Friday, when Peres' funeral is due to take place.

"Peres was the last remaining Israeli official who founded the occupation, and his death is the end of a phase in the history of this occupation and the beginning of a new phase of weakness," said Abu Zuhri. 

In Lebanon - technically at war with Israel and where Peres' is remembered for his role in the 1996 Qana massacre - the Hizballah-affiliated television network al-Manar described the Peres as a "criminal".

No other Arab officials have issued public statements on the death of the former Israeli statesman.