Israel's Nobel Peace laureate Shimon Peres in medically induced coma after major stroke

Israeli elder statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres suffered a stroke on Tuesday and was put in a medically induced coma, hospital officials said.

Reuters| Updated: Sep 14, 2016, 06:59 AM IST

JERUSALEM: Israeli elder statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres suffered a stroke on Tuesday and was put in a medically induced coma, hospital officials said.

"I remain optimistic. I believe, I pray and hope for the best, however this in not an easy time," Peres` son, Chemi, told reporters gathered outside Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv. 

"It seems we will have to make decisions going forward, though not at the moment."

The hospital`s director told reporters that Peres had "suffered from a major stroke with a component of bleeding."

In a career spanning nearly seven decades, Peres, 93, served in a dozen cabinets and twice as a Labour Party prime minister, even though he never won a general election outright in five tries from 1977 to 1996.

He later served as president, a largely ceremonial role in Israel, from 2007-2014, before leaving politics.

"Shimon, we love you and the entire nation is wishing for your recovery," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

Peres shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Israel`s late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for a 1993 interim peace deal that they and their successors failed to turn into a durable treaty.

When a far-right Jewish Israeli opposed to the peace deal shot dead Rabin in November 1995, Peres became prime minister. Polls showed him way ahead of rightist Likud leader Netanyahu in a campaign for the 1996 election. 

But Palestinian suicide bombings that killed dozens of Israelis and an aggressive campaign by Likud battered Peres`s popularity and he lost the election to Netanyahu by less than 30,000 votes.