Shimon Peres: A brief history

Shimon Peres: A brief history
Video: Israel's veteran politician Shimon Peres has passed away, and his life has been closely entwined with the history of the country he once ruled.
3 min read
28 Sep, 2016
Watch now: Peres' life was entwined with the history of the nation he led [Getty/AFP]
Shimon Peres was one of the country's most well-known and longest-standing politicans. Two weeks after suffering a stroke, he died aged 93 on Wednesday.

The former president was one of the last of a generation of Israeli politicians present at the new nation's birth in 1948.

1923: Born in Belarus, then part of Poland.
1934: Peres' family immigrated to Palestine and settled in what is now Tel Aviv. There he studied at an agricultural school, living and working on Kibbutz Geva for several years.

1941: All of Peres' relatives who remained in Europe were murdered during the Holocaust.

1941-46: Became a founding member of Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, a Labor Zionist youth movement.

1945: Peres married Sonya Gelman. Together they had three children. Although the couple became estranged, they stayed married for 67 years until Sonya's death in 2011.

1947: Peres joined Jewish paramilitary force the Haganah. He was appointed head of the navy when Israel was formed in 1948.

1953: Appointed director-general of the ministry of defence, the youngest person at 29 to hold this position. He is involved in arms purchases and helping Israel to establish the Dimona nuclear reactor.

1954-6: Orchestrated the 1956 Suez War to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and to remove Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser from power. Resulted in allies Britain and France humiliated and strengthened Nasser's hand.

1959-1977: Peres was elected to the Knesset and given the role of deputy defence minister. He also served as minister for immigrant absorption, transport and communications and information minister.

1974: As minister of defence in the government of Yitzhak Rabin, Peres oversees the withdrawal of Israeli forces on the Egyptian front, laying groundwork for the eventual peace settlement between Israel and Egypt.

1977: Succeeds Yitzhak Rabin as leader of the Labor Party.

1984: Peres leads Labor to a marginal win, becoming prime minister of a national unity government.

1990: Peres attempts to take down the unity government and install himself as prime minister but fails to win enough support of MPs and leads to collapse of unity government.

1992: Loses the Labor Party leadership election to Yitzhak Rabin.

1994: While foreign minister, he won the Nobel peace prize jointly with Yitzhak Rabin - the then prime minister - and Yasser Arafat for their role in negotiating the Oslo accords, which envisioned a two state solution to the Palestine-Israel crisis.

1995: After Rabin's assassination, Peres takes control of the Labor party and serves another term as prime minister.
Read more: Peacenik and war-criminal: The many sides of Shimon Peres

1996: After a wave of Palestinian terrorism, Peres suffers defeat to the Likud party, led by Binyamin Netanyahu.

1996: Prime Minister Peres initiated Operation Grapes of Wrath, a war on Lebanon following Hizballah rocket fire. Israel conducts massive air raids and extensive shelling in southern Lebanon. More than a hundred Lebanese civilians died in the shelling of Qana, where the refugees had huddled in a UN compound.

2001: After Labor's defeat in the general election, Peres leads Labor and forms a unity government with Ariel Sharon's Likud.

2005: Peres announced that he was leaving the Labor Party to support Sharon and his new Kadima party.

2007: Peres was elected the ninth president by the Knesset.

2007-2014: As president, Peres establishes himself as a global ambassador for Israel. In 2007, he addressed the Turkish parliament, the first Israeli leader to speak to the lawmakers of a Muslim country. In 2008, the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II awards him an honorary knighthood. In 2012, US President Barack Obama presents him with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He steps down as president of Israel in 2014, and is succeeded by Reuven Rivlin.

September 13, 2016: Peres suffers a massive stroke and is hospitalised.

September 28, 2016: Peres dies at the age of 93.