By Haaretz Correspondents and Agencies
President Moshe Katsav said in a statement yesterday that, along with all of Israel, he was "in pain and in shock" over the death of former president Ezer Weizman.
Weizman was one of those "who best exemplified 'Israeliness' throughout the years of the state's existence in the full meaning of the word," Katsav said. "With his personal charm and magnetism, his determination, his optimism, his 'fighter-ism,' he swept many others with him, and penetrated the hearts of many in Israel," Katsav said.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter released a statement expressing his condolences on the death of Weizman. Carter said Weizman was a real Israeli hero both in times of war and of peace. He said the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, which he brokered, is a symbol of what can be achieved by a combination of statesmanship and political courage.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called Weizman's widow, Reuma, yesterday to express his condolences. Mubarak referred to Weizman as "my dear friend" and apologized for not being able to attend the funeral, saying he had to remain in Egypt to host the visiting Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia also expressed his condolences yesterday to Katsav, the Israeli people and the Weizman family.
The chairman of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, Sallai Meridor, said "Weizman was a Zionist leader who made a great contribution to the establishment and defense of Israel. He made the matter of immigration to Israel from all countries a top priority, and called openly for Diaspora Jews to come to live in Israel."
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