JERUSALEM -- A state ceremony in memory of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be held Monday at the parliament building in Jerusalem, officials announced.
Services for Sharon, who died Saturday at 85 after being incapacitated for years by a stroke, are expected to draw dignitaries from around the world and thousands of admirers in Israel.
All meetings scheduled for Knesset committees Sunday and Monday have been canceled, according to arrangements announced after the Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies convened Saturday to discuss plans for the ceremony and funeral, along with representatives of the army, police, Foreign Ministry and the Sharon family.
Sharon's coffin will arrive at the Knesset on Sunday. Special shuttles will be made available to members of the public wishing to pay their respects, officials said.
After the memorial ceremony Monday, the military funeral procession will leave Jerusalem for Latroun, where Sharon was injured in battle in 1948. The top army command will convene there for a special commemorative session at the battleground site, which now houses a military museum and memorial.
Sharon will be laid to rest on a hilltop at Sycamore Ranch, his family sheep farm and home in southern Israel. Despite a reserved plot in Jerusalem’s Mt. Herzl national cemetery dedicated to the nation’s leaders, Sharon wanted to be buried on the farm beside his second wife, Lily.
Sobelman is a special correspondent.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times