Kurds hold funeral for former Israeli President in Kurdistan
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Kurds held a funeral on Wednesday for Shimon Peres, former President and Prime Minister of Israel, in a show of respect for his support for Kurds.
The founding father of Israel, who is also a Nobel Peace Prize winner, died on Wednesday morning, after weeks of suffering from a major stroke.
Kurds in the Province of Duhok held a funeral for Peres, sending condolences to his family.
Kurds’ respect for Peres came after his meeting with the US President Barack Obama in 2014.
Peres advised the United States to support the Kurds and the creation of a Kurdish state, praising the democracy practiced in the Kurdistan Region.
“The Kurds have, de facto, created their own state, which is democratic. One of the signs of a democracy is the granting of equality to women,” Peres told Obama in 2014.
Following reports of Peres’ death, President Obama led tributes to the Israeli statesman.
The US President described him as a friend and the “essence of Israel itself.”
“A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever,” Obama added.
Peres was born on Aug. 2, 1923, in Wiszniew, Poland, now called Vishnyeva, part of Belarus.
He spent decades of his life in politics and, besides being the Prime Minister and President of Israel, he also served as the Defense Minister in the past.
About 100 people attended the funeral including journalists and activists.
Bayar Zawitayi, one of the Kurdish activists who participated, told Kurdistan24 the funeral was meant to send condolences to the family of Peres and show respect for what he did for Kurds.
Funeral proceedings began at 3:00 p.m. local time and continued for three hours in front of Duhok Gallery.
The following are pictures of Peres’ funeral poster in Duhok:
There are a large number of Kurdish Jews in the Kurdistan Region who mostly live in Duhok, Erbil, and Sulaimani provinces.
Kurdish Jews currently have an official representative in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs whose name is Sherzad Omar.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Chakdar Jamal contributed to this report)