International leaders and top Israeli officials attended a state memorial ceremony Monday for Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who died last week.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair were among those at the official ceremony outside Israel's parliament, the Knesset.
Under bright sunshine, rows of mourners gathered around Sharon's coffin, over which the blue-and-white Israeli flag was draped.
"You never rested when in service of your people, when defending your land and when making it flourish," said Israeli President Shimon Peres, who delivered a eulogy to Sharon at the beginning of the ceremony.
A towering military and political leader, Sharon died Saturday after eight years in a coma.
Peres, a friend and sometimes rival of Sharon, compared him to "a lion," saying he'd contributed "an unforgettable chapter" to Israel's history.
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