Friday, February fourteenth, the   UN says at least 22 people have been killed in a village in the Northwest region of Cameroon. Over half of those killed were children. No one has claimed responsibility for Friday’s incident but the opposition parties blame the killing on the government.

Israel's longest serving statesman Shimon Peres is dead

Israel's longest serving statesman Shimon Peres died early Wednesday, leaving the country mourning the last of the state’s founding fathers and a man whose legacy as a would-be peacemaker is celebrated by supporters but eyed with skepticism by many Palestinians.


The Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv said Peres, 93, died two weeks after suffering a serious stroke that caused bleeding in his brain.

Peres was present at the birth of the State of Israel. He emigrated from Poland to Palestine, then under British rule, in 1934 with his family when he was 12 years old. He grew up with the young nation, attending a school advocating for the relocation of Jews and as a teenager joined the first generation of Zionists in politics, led by David Ben-Gurion.

"Shimon was the essence of Israel itself," President Obama said in a statement Wednesday. "The courage of Israel’s fight for independence ... and the perseverance that led him to serve his nation in virtually every position in government across the entire life of the State of Israel."

Peres' career spanned 10 U.S. presidencies. He served in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, for over 47 years, and was elected prime minister three times. Peres was present at nearly every key moment in Israel's history.

"As a man of vision, his gaze was aimed to the future," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday. "As a man of security, he fortified Israel's strength in many ways, some of which even today are still unknown."

His reputation was never without controversy, but his popularity grew enormously in the last 15 years of his life.

"He became the darling of the nation," said Peres biographer Michael Bar Zohar. "He wanted to be loved by the public."

And he was, at times.

"Sometimes the world is divided between the dreamers and the doers," said Yehuda Ben-Meir, a former deputy minister of foreign affairs and a member of Knesset. "He was a dreamer, he was a visionary, but Shimon was also a builder. He managed to combine the two."

Peres built Israel's defense industry from scratch in the 1950s, negotiated Israel's biggest arms and technology deals and prioritized security above all else. He dealt secretly with European powers, and was the mastermind behind Israel's nuclear power plant Dimona, which houses a 24,000-kilowatt reactor in the Negev desert.

Two decades before the Oslo Accords and his subsequent Nobel Peace Prize, shared with then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat, Peres was a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

As defense minister, he encouraged Jewish settlers to move to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and to the Golan Heights. Some 10 years later, he set his sights on peace with the Palestinians, and to this day, that very peace remains elusive in large part due to the expanding Jewish settlements, according to the United Nations.




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