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Monday
Jan132014

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Laid to Rest

Kobi Gideon / GPO via Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister who died Saturday at the age of 85, was laid to rest Monday next to his wife on a hilltop in southern Israel.

Funeral services began Monday morning outside Israel's parliament in Jerusalem and were attended by a number of foreign dignitaries. Israeli president Shimon Peres, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and former British prime minister Tony Blair, all made speeches.

Representing the United States, Vice President Joe Biden called Sharon “a complex man who lived in complex times,” and the vice president acknowledged there were times when Sharon's actions earned him controversy and even condemnation.  But, Biden said, the former general was a man guided by a north star.

“His north star was the survival of the state of Israel, and the Jewish People,” Biden said Monday.

Biden reiterated America's commitment to Israeli security, which he said had been the late prime minister’s unwavering mission.

Sharon's body was then driven to his beloved ranch in the Negev desert for burial. Peres and Netanyahu laid wreaths at Sharon’s grave.

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