President Obama departs U.S. to attend the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday (September 29) departed for Israel, where he will speak at the funeral of former Israeli leader Shimon Peres, the White House said. Obama will lead a delegation of 32 other U.S. officials, including former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, Democratic Senator Bob Casey and Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader in the House of Representatives. The delegation was dominated by Democrats, but three Republican lawmakers were included among the 19 U.S. lawmakers, the White House said. They include Stephen Hadley, who was national security adviser to former Republican President George W. Bush. Shimon Peres, one of Israel's last surviving founding fathers who developed its powerful armed forces and nuclear capabilities before seeking peace with the Palestinians and sharing a Nobel prize, died on Wednesday at 93 after suffering a stroke. A convinced campaigner for Middle East peace who remained energetic until the final days of his seven decades in public life, the center-left elder statesman was mourned by world leaders and praised for his tireless engagement.