WASHINGTON -- US President Barack Obama will travel to Jerusalem for less than a day to participate in the funeral of Shimon Peres, a founding father of the Jewish state, the White House confirmed on Wednesday.
"The president will depart on September 29 and will return to Washington, DC following the ceremony on September 30," the White House said in a statement. He will lead the American delegation, which will also include former President William Jefferson Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Obama offered lengthy praise for Peres upon his death last night.
"A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever," Obama said. "Shimon Peres was a soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves - to the very end of our time on Earth, and in the legacy that we leave to others. For the gift of his friendship and the example of his leadership, todah rabah, Shimon."