Peres steps down as Israeli president, sees peace 'one day'

July 24, 2014 8:20 PM

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Peres steps down as Israeli president, sees peace 'one day'

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's elder statesman Shimon Peres bowed out of active political life on Thursday with an ardent defence of the war in Gaza against Hamas militants and a defiant prediction that peace will "one day" come to the Middle East.

At a ceremony overshadowed by the 17-day Gaza conflict in which nearly 800 people have died, Peres, 90, relinquished his largely ceremonial post as Israeli president to Reuven Rivlin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party.

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