WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, this evening released the following statement regarding the passing of Israeli statesman Shimon Peres:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of President Shimon Peres, a founding father of the State of Israel. I send my condolences to the Peres family and the people of Israel.

“History will remember President Peres as a giant of Jewish history and ceaseless champion of the Israeli people. He didn't merely witness the founding of the Jewish state, he was there doing the hard work that brought that historic moment to pass. In the nearly seven decades since, he played a central role in the moments that have shaped Israeli history. And thanks to his vision and his leadership, President Peres lit the way toward peace even in Israel's darkest days.

“May Israel find comfort in celebrating his life, and draw strength from his legacy of peacemaking and his vision for Israel's future.”