Sharon's body lies in state in preparation for state funeral
Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 01:36
Jan. 12 - Israel pays last respects to former prime minister Ariel Sharon who will receive a military funeral on Monday. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Israel marked the first full day of mourning for Ariel Sharon on Sunday.
The former Israeli prime minister died Saturday after eight years in a coma caused by a stroke. He was 85-years-old.
Sharon's coffin was transferred to the parliament in Jerusalem where it will lie in state.
Israeli President Shimon Peres, among other dignitaries, laid a wreath for the so-called warrior statesman who helped change the face of the Middle East.
He was a controversial figure for many.
But in the cafes of Tel Aviv, Israelis remembered him as a hero who helped found their nation state.
(SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) NORTHERN ISRAELI RESIDENT ASHER ALUF, SAYING:
"We lost an Israel-loving figure, a great warrior, and we also lost the last of the Mohicans that Israel had."
(SOUNDBITE) (English) TEL AVIV RESIDENT KOBI HALPERIN, SAYING:
"We all feel that Ariel Sharon is kind of like our father and it almost feels like there is no replacement for that and I think it's something that is making all of us feel a little bit empty."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet held a moment of silence for the man many called "the bulldozer" -- in part for his expansion of settlements into captured territories.
(SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING:
"He was tied to the land, he knew the need to protect the land."
And it's to this land that Sharon's body will be returned on Monday.
His farm in southern Israel.
Preparations are underway for a military funeral, where world dignitaries and the public are expected to bid their final farewell to Ariel Sharon.
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