President Shimon Peres expressed his grief over the death of former prime minister Ariel Sharon: "My dear friend, Arik Sharon, lost his final battle today. Arik was a brave soldier and a daring leader who loved his nation and his nation loved him. He was one of Israel's great protectors and most important architects, who knew no fear and certainly never feared vision.
"He knew how to take difficult decisions and implement them. We all loved him and he will be greatly missed. I send my condolences to the Sharon family, may he rest in peace," Peres said in a statement.