Israel’s Ex-PM Ariel Sharon Dies
Jerusalem – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died aged 85 after spending eight years in a coma following a stroke. Mr Sharon was a giant of the Israeli military and political scene, but courted controversy throughout his long career. He was being treated at the Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv. A hospital statement is expected shortly.
On Thursday doctors announced that Mr Sharon’s condition had deteriorated. The 85-year-old, who became PM in 2001, was suffering from a malfunction of several organs including the kidneys, they said. Mr Sharon’s health was showing signs of “a slow and gradual deterioration” and his life was in danger, they added. He had been in a persistent vegetative state since a stroke in 2006.
As prime minister, Mr Sharon presided over some of the most turbulent times in Israeli-Palestinian history, a Palestinian uprising that erupted in 2000 and an Israeli military crackdown after peace talks collapsed. To many Israelis, Mr Sharon was a heroic warrior, having led decisive campaigns in the 1967 and 1973 wars. (BBC)