Former Israeli president and elder statesman Shimon Peres died in Tel Aviv on Wednesday at age 93, according to media reports late Tuesday night.
Peres was hospitalized after suffering a stroke two weeks ago and had made some progress before a sudden deterioration in his condition on Tuesday.
An official announcement of the death of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former prime minister was expected at around 7 a.m. local time.
Peres’ close relatives rushed to his hospital bedside earlier Tuesday amid media reports that his condition had deteriorated and he was close to death.
Peres, Israel’s most eminent elder statesman, was part of almost every major development from the country’s founding in 1948. In a career spanning nearly 70 years, he served in a dozen cabinets and was twice a Labor prime minister.
Peres is widely seen as having gained nuclear capabilities for Israel by procuring the secret Dimona reactor from France while defense ministry director-general in the 1950s. And as defense minister oversaw the 1976 Israeli rescue of hijacked Israelis at Entebbe airport in Uganda.
He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the late former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for reaching, in 1993, an interim peace deal which never hardened into a lasting treaty.
Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by an Israeli ultranationalist who opposed the interim accords, and it was Peres who took over as prime minister after Rabin’s death.
He held the largely ceremonial post of president from 2007 to 2014 and used the pulpit to continue to advocate peace.
Details of when Peres’ funeral will take place were not initially available.