Former prime minister Ariel Sharon will be laid in state at the Knesset on Sunday from midday until 6 p.m. for the public to pay their last respects, and a formal mourning ceremony at the Knesset, attended by national leaders and other notables, will take place Monday morning.
Sharon, 85, Israel’s eleventh prime minister, died Saturday, eight years after falling into a coma. World leaders led by President Barack Obama and Israeli politicians led by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed condolences for his loss on Saturday.
The former IDF general-turned-statesman’s final journey will begin from the Knesset later Monday. His casket will be accompanied by the military’s top brass.
Sharon’s funeral — which will be both a state and a military ceremony, given Sharon’s twin careers — is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Monday at his Shikmim Farm in the Negev, where he will be laid to rest alongside his second wife Lily.
Government officials and Sharon’s relatives were Saturday night coordinating the details of Sharon’s funeral.
US Vice President Joe Biden is expected to head the American delegation to pay last respects.
Biden said he looked forward to the opportunity “to pay respects to the man and to pay tribute to the unshakeable partnership between the United States and Israel.”
Visitors to the Knesset to pay respects will not be able to reach the area by car, but are asked to park at Teddy Stadium or Latrun and take free shuttle buses from there.
Normal parliamentary business and the Knesset will be shut down on Sunday and Monday, a spokesperson said.
The former prime minister succumbed to kidney failure and blood infection in his final weeks. He had been in a coma since suffering a massive stroke in 2006.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.