Eshkol Buried with State Honors on Mount Herzl; 100,000 Lined Cortege Route
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Eshkol Buried with State Honors on Mount Herzl; 100,000 Lined Cortege Route

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Levi Eshkol, the third Premier of Israel, was buried with state honors on Mount Herzl overlooking Jerusalem on Friday. His coffin, draped in the blue and white national colors, was borne through the streets of the ancient capital from the courtyard of the Knesset (Parliament) where he had lain in state following his death at 73 from a heart attack last Wednesday. The funeral services were attended by scores of foreign dignitaries as well as Israeli leaders of all parties, delegations representing Jewish communities abroad and the family and friends of the late Premier. Israel’s Arab citizens were also represented as were Arabs of East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, wearing their traditional garb.

An estimated 100,000 Israelis lined the route as the cortege marched slowly to the hilltop named for the founder of the Zionist movement which has become a pantheon of Israeli leaders dating from the pre-Statehood era. Mr. Eshkol’s coffin was lowered into a grave between those of Eliezer Kaplan, whom he had succeeded as Israel’s Finance Minister, and Yosef Sprinzak, the first speaker of the Knesset. Maj. Gen. Shlomo Goren, Israel’s chief military chaplain, intoned the verse, “A prince and a great man has fallen in Israel.” Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Itzhak Untermann read a chapter of the Psalms. Benzion Shkolnik, the late Prime Minister’s brother, recited Kaddish, the mourner’s prayer. President Zalman Shazar delivered a brief eulogy. Mr. Eshkol’s coffin was covered with Judaean marble. His grave was filled with earth from all parts of Israel, including his home kibbuts of Degania. Wreaths were placed around the fresh grave, one from President Richart M. Nixon.

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