Photo Credit: Haim Zach / GPO / Flash 90
Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Pope Francis plant a tree together at the Vatican Gardens during a joint peace prayer initiated and hosted by Pope Francis, in the Vatican, on June 8, 2014.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas expressed his “sadness and sorrow” on Wednesday over the death of former President Shimon Peres.

Abbas sent a message of condolence to the family of Israel’s ninth president, according to the official PA news agency, WAFA.

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“Peres was a partner in making the brave peace with the martyr Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Rabin, and made unremitting efforts to reach a lasting peace from the Oslo Agreement until the final moments of his life,” Abbas said, according to WAFA.

Peres is to be laid to rest at the Mount Herzl military cemetery, in the section reserved for Israel’s founding fathers. He will be laid to rest five meters from Rabin.

However, the same official PA news agency also issued a venomous obituary for Peres in which the former president was said to be responsible for the “deaths of Palestinians” and “many crimes.” Peres was described in an official statement from the PA government as having been responsible for having built the Dimona nuclear reactor, and there was no mention of the 93-year-old statesman’s role in “making the brave peace” or for having tried to reach a “lasting peace” via the Oslo Accords — for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Israel’s late Prime Minister Rabin, and late PLO terror leader Yasser Arafat.

Meanwhile, the Hamas terrorist organization based in Gaza — which is also part of the Palestinian Authority — welcomed the death of the former Israeli president.

Sami Abu Zukhri, a spokesperson for Hamas, said “The Palestinian people are happy at the death of this criminal.

Shimon Peres was one of the last Israeli founders of the occupation. His death marks the end of an era in the history of the Israeli occupation,” he told the AFP news agency.

Peres will be laid to rest on Friday, and it is not yet known whether or not the Palestinian Authority will send a delegation to the funeral.

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