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Former Israel President Peres' condition deteriorates

TEL AVIV Close relatives of former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres rushed to his hospital bedside on Tuesday amid media reports that his condition had deteriorated and he was close to death.

Peres's condition deteriorated despite daily improvements since he suffered the stroke.

The 93-year-old Peres was hospitalized two weeks ago after suffering a stroke that led to bleeding in his brain. He was sedated and breathing with a respirator in the intensive care unit. "His health position is very, very hard".

He held virtually every position in Israel's Cabinet, including minister of defense and Prime Minister, a position he held three times, including once in an interim role.

The former hawk turned dove is widely respected both in Israel and overseas, regularly meeting world leaders and celebrities.

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His weakening health prompted an outpouring of support from across the world, including from Pope Francis, US President Barack Obama, the Clinton family, Donald Trump, Britain's ex-premier, Tony Blair, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he was hoping Peres made a "swift and full recovery", calling him "tireless in seeking peace between Israelis and Palestinians".

Family members seen arrived to the hospital declined to comment on Peres's condition.

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv on November 30, 2015. In January, Peres had a heart attack and then cardiac angioplasty to open a blocked artery. He returned to the hospital 10 days later after suffering from an irregular heartbeat. He was hospitalized twice more with chest pains. "I'm so happy to return to work, that was the whole goal of this operation", he said.

The elder statesman had other health scares earlier this year.

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