Peres's office: He's alive and well

An explosion on Shimon Peres Street? An obituary for a man of the same name? What caused false report of former president's death?

Ben Ariel ,

Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Flash 90

Rumors were rampant on social media on Monday that former President Shimon Peres had passed away, but his office was quick to clarify that the 92-year-old is alive and well.

According to the website of the Ma’ariv newspaper, the rumors on social media and on WhatsApp may have been connected to an explosion in Rishon LeZion which took place on Shimon Peres Street, named after the former president.

In the explosion, which was of a criminal background, three people were wounded, among them one critically, one seriously and one moderately.

Another possibility for the mix-up was brought up by the website of the Makor Rishon newspaper, which noted an obituary for a Shimon Peres who served in the Israeli Air Force that was being disseminated on WhatsApp. However, the newspaper said, that Shimon Peres passed away last June and was not related to the former president.

In any event and whatever the reason for the false reports, Peres’s office released a statement late Monday saying, "We wish to make clear in light of rumors about the condition of Shimon Peres, that the rumors are false. The ninth president continues his daily schedule as usual, he feels good, works from morning to night and is working tirelessly to help and contribute to the State of Israel."

"We would like to thank for the support, concern and interest from the citizens of the state of Israel," added the statement, which also noted, "Shimon Peres wishes to clarify that he is alive and well. The only thing on his mind right now is his dinner."

Peres’s term in office ended last year and he was replaced by Reuven Rivlin. After the end of his presidency, Peres cancelled a lucrative Bank Hapoalim contract after the announcement sparked considerable backlash from the public and political spheres.  

Under the contract Peres would have promoted the bank for $30,000 a month but he later claimed that the figure was not nearly as high as initial reports insisted and that the media frenzy was "not connected to reality."

Nevertheless, Peres didn’t remain unemployed for long, as soon after the Bank Hapoalim deal fell through, he joined Teva Pharmaceuticals as a consultant.