Ariel Sharon’s body lies in state outside Knesset as Israelis come to pay their respects

There will be a state memorial service for the former prime minister tomorrow before he is buried in a private ceremony at his ranch

The body of the former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has been placed outside the Knesset, where it will lie in state today.

Thousands of Israelis are expected to travel to the country’s parliament to pay their respects, while a state memorial has been planned to take place on Monday.

Current and former world leaders are expected to attend, including US vice president Joe Biden, the former British prime minister Tony Blair and the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Sharon’s body will then be taken by military convoy to be buried in a private ceremony at his family ranch in Negev, southern Israel.

Israeli soldiers place the coffin of Ariel Sharon at the Knesset where it will lie in state today Israeli soldiers place the coffin of Ariel Sharon at the Knesset where it will lie in state today The 85-year-old died of heart failure yesterday after eight years in a coma.

His body was taken by ambulance from the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv to the Tzrifin military base, from which it was then brought to the Knesset this morning.

An Israeli military rabbi touches the coffin of former prime minister Ariel Sharon outside the Knesset An Israeli military rabbi touches the coffin of former prime minister Ariel Sharon outside the Knesset The prime minister’s office said in a statement: “The public will be able to pay its respects until 6pm (4pm GMT)”. Shuttle buses have been taking people to the Knesset from various pick-up points across Jerusalem and the surrounding region.

The coffin holding Sharon’s body, draped in the national flag, was carried onto a plinth outside the Knesset this morning.

A military convoy takes the body of Ariel Sharon to Jerusalem from a base near Rishon Letzion in central Israel A military convoy takes the body of Ariel Sharon to Jerusalem from a base near Rishon Letzion in central Israel Writing in a tribute today, Israel’s justice minister Tzipi Livni said: “They say old soldiers do not die, they fade away. Arik Sharon faded away eight years ago, and now we truly say goodbye to him.”

Read more
Ariel Sharon: Peacemaker, hero... butcher
Tributes to a 'statesman' but scorn for a 'tyrant'
The massive stroke from which there was no comeback
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there