Thousands of Israelis have been paying their last respects to former Prime Minister Mrs Golda Meir as her coffin was lying in state outside the Knesset (parliament) building in Jerusalem.
SV coffin on jeep ZOOM OUT TO GV Knesset building
SV Mourners follow coffin being carried into Knesset building (TWO SHOTS)
SV flame ZOOM OUT TO GV coffin being loaded on to pedestal as officer salutes (TWO SHOTS)
SV Israeli Finance Minister Simcha Erlich pays last respects to Golds Meir (TWO SHOTS)
SV Israeli President Yitzhak Navon arrives to pay respects
SV soldiers bringing wreath
SV people filing past coffin
SV preparations for funeral (FIVE SHOTS)
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Background: Thousands of Israelis have been paying their last respects to former Prime Minister Mrs Golda Meir as her coffin was lying in state outside the Knesset (parliament) building in Jerusalem.
SYNOPSIS: Mrs Meir, who was born in the Ukraine and emigrated to Palestine in her early twenties, was Prime Ministers from 1969 to 1974. She died on Friday (8 December) from lymphoma, a malignant disease she had suffered from for fifteen years. Her death brought a flow of tributes from world leaders. These ran against the terms of her Will, which insisted that no collages should be delivered in her honour, and no public places be named for her.
Tens of thousands were expected to stream past her coffin during the twenty hours her body lay in state, before the funeral on Mount Herzl, in a section reserved for Israel's leaders. Among the many Knesset members to pay tribute were Israeli Finance Minister, Simcha Erlich, and President Yitzhak Navon, a sabra -- a native-born Israeli -- who was a party colleague for ten years in the Knesset.
Security forces were put on alert to protect foreign leaders due to arrive for her funeral, but soldiers took time to make their personal gestures.
Mourners of all ages poured in from all parts of Israel, to file by Mrs Meir's coffin at a rate of some five thousand an hour. Many were weeping freely for the woman who had guided their country through its last major crisis -- the Arab - Israeli War of 1973. Mrs Meir will be buried next to the Prime Minister who preceded her, Levi Eshkol.