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Shimon Peres' autobiography to be released on the first anniversary of his death

In a career spanning seven decades, Shimon Peres held nearly every major office and won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the Oslo peace accords
Alberto Pizzoli (AFP/File)
In a career spanning seven decades, Peres held nearly every major office, serving twice as prime minister

Israel begins marking one year since the death of former president Shimon Peres this week with memorial events, while the respected statesman's memoir is also being released.

Peres's death last year led to an outpouring of grief and tributes from leaders worldwide, many of whom also attended the Nobel peace prize winner's funeral in Jerusalem.

Tuesday will see the publication of his memoir, "No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination and the Making of Modern Israel."

Peres had completed work on the book just weeks before his death at 93 on September 28, 2016, according to the publishers. It will be published initially in English, with French and Hebrew versions released at a later date.

A series of events are being planned by Israel, while a stamp was issued on Monday in his memory.

In a review of the tome before publication, the New York Times said it is personally reflective but also a call to action for the next generation of leaders.

“We need a generation that sees leadership as a noble cause,” he writes in the book's epilogue, according to the Times, “defined not by personal ambition, but by morality and a call to service.”

He dwells on the "legend and legacy of Dimona" -- the southern city that hosts Israel's nuclear facilities, which Peres helped spearhead.

The paper said some of the thornier issues during his turbulent political career are simply omitted, such as his 1996 leadership of the Grapes of Wrath military operation in Lebanon, or the sinking of the Altalena vessel on the orders of his political protege, David Ben Gurion.

Israel's Peres Center for Peace will on Wednesday host President Reuven Rivlin and heads of global corporations for a conference on innovation, with former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger attending a reception that night.

The official state memorial for Peres will take place at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery on Thursday.

In a career spanning seven decades, Peres held nearly every major office, serving twice as prime minister and lastly as president from 2007 to 2014.

He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo peace accords, which envisioned an independent Palestinian state.

Peres was also an architect of Israel's nuclear programme, with the country now considered the Middle East's sole nuclear-armed nation, although it has never declared it.

While Peres is hailed in the West as a peacemaker, many in the Arab world, including among the Palestinians, regard him as a "war criminal".

They have cited his involvement in successive Arab-Israeli wars and his support for settlement building before his work on Oslo.

He was also premier in 1996 when more than 100 civilians were killed by Israeli shellfire while sheltering at a UN peacekeepers' base in the Lebanese village of Qana.

Read more: Bahrain minister in surprise tribute to Israel's Peres

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