Shulamit Aloni, a former minister and one of the founders of the Meretz party, was laid to rest on Sunday at the Kfar Shmaryahu cemetery.

The ceremony was attended by leading politicians, past and present.

President Shimon Peres paid his last respects along with Aloni’s former Meretz party colleague Yossi Sarid, current party faction leader MK Zahava Gal-on (Meretz), and former minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer, among many others.

Aloni, an iconic figure of Israel’s left-wing politics, died on Friday aged 85.

Her son Dror Aloni, recalling Aloni’s civil rights activities, spoke of his mother being a different and special kind of hero whose banner was freedom, culture, and a responsibility, Ynet reported.

Peres, after listening to the eulogies of Aloni’s three sons, noted that they were following in her footsteps, Channel 2 reported.

“We are separating from Shulah,” Peres said. “but not from her path.”

Another of her sons, Udi, read out a letter of condolences from President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

Aloni, an Israel Prize laureate, served under prime minister Yitzhak Rabin as education minister from 1992 to 1993 and as science and arts minister from 1993 to 1996.

Shulamit Aloni (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Orrling, Wikimedia Commons)

Shulamit Aloni (photo credit: CC BY-SA Orrling, Wikimedia Commons)

She was born in Tel Aviv and fought in the Palmah during the 1948 War of Independence. She was survived by her three sons, Dror, Nimrod, and Udi Aloni.

Aloni was one of the 12 founders of the left-wing Meretz party, leading the party and bringing it into Rabin’s coalition.

After being replaced at the head of Meretz by Yossi Sarid, Aloni retired from politics. She won the Israel Prize in 2000 for her contributions to Israeli society.

AFP contributed to this report.