Israel's former President Shimon Peres poses for a portrait at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa, Israel. Image Credit: AP

Ramallah: The Palestinians will remember Shimon Peres, a former Israeli president, prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate as a serial killer and an iconic mass murderer.

He died on Wednesday at the age of 93 due to deteriorating health after suffering a stroke in September.

Palestinian senior officials who spoke to Gulf News dismissed media reports praising Peres for “moderate” policies and involvement in peace efforts.

“Peres’s legacy will be remembered by the Palestinians as a tireless advocate for murdering children, perpetuating occupation and uprooting indigenous Palestinians out of their home lands,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

“When we celebrate and remember the legacy of Shimon Peres and his accomplishments for Israel, we should remember that Peres was the launcher of Israel’s nuclear programme, the architect of the Israeli plan to isolate, Judaise and take over Jerusalem, and above all Peres was behind the Qana Massacre of 1996 where more than 100 civilians were killed in a refugee camp in Lebanon,” she told Gulf News, adding that he is also responsible for a slew of other war crimes against Palestinians.

As a shrewd politician, Ashrawi said, Peres set the general direction of Israeli colonial policies and dedicated his life to trying to polish Israel’s deteriorating image in the international community.

“Due to the bloody and apartheid policies of the Israeli government, which he fully supported, the challenge to improve Israel’s image was a tough one,” she said.

“Israel had long searched for an acceptable face of peace to be presented to the world and Peres was that face,” she said.

Despite his rhetoric advocating peace, some of the most atrocious crimes against humanity were committed under his watch, she explained.

“He basically put make-up on the ugly face of apartheid. He deceived the entire world,” she said.

In his early 20s, Peres served in the Haganah, a Jewish militia that existed before the state of Israel was created. The terrorist group was responsible for the massacre of Palestinians and uprooting them from their lands.

“He was involved in all of the Israeli wars since the beginning. Massacres were committed and he was the main participant,” Wasel Abu Yousuf, another member of the PLO Executive Committee, said.

“He is no man of peace.”