Shimon Peres, one of the founders of Israel who presided over the bombing of refugees at a UN compound in Lebanon, died at a hospital in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning two weeks after suffering a stroke. He was 93.
Peres suffered a stroke on Sept. 13 and was put in a medically induced coma.
In a career spanning nearly seven decades, Peres, 93, served in a dozen cabinets and twice as a Labor Party prime minister, even though he never won a general election outright in five tries from 1977 to 1996. He later served as president, a largely ceremonial role in Israel, from 2007-2014, before leaving politics.
While he is largely known as a “dove” in a country founded on ethnic cleansing, Peres oversaw one of Israel’s ugliest war crimes in its history.
In 1996, he unleashed “Operation Grapes of Wrath,” causing 400,000 Lebanese to flee their homes, with almost 800 of them fleeing to a UN base in Qana, South Lebanon.
In order to challenge the “dove” label and appease the right, Peres did not stop there and ordered the army to strike the Qana shelter, killing 102 civilians, mainly women, children and the elderly, TeleSUR reported.
“In my opinion,” Peres said at the time, “everything was done according to clear logic and in a responsible way. I am at peace.” However, the United Nations and human rights organizations debunked his government’s claim that the strike against the camp was not intentional.
Peres had said Israel had the right to keep land gained during war, such as the Syrian Golan Heights, in contravention of international law.