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    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Israel Ex-PM Sharon ‘Critically ill’

    The condition of Israel’s former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – who has been in a coma since 2006 – has worsened and is now critical, “with some danger to life,” his doctors say.
    Mr. Sharon, 85, is suffering from a malfunction of several organs including the kidneys, they said.
    BBC reports that he became prime minister in 2001 and suffered a mild stroke in 2005.
    After a second, major stroke in 2006, he went into a coma and has been in a persistent vegetative state ever since.
    Giving an update, Prof. Zeev Rotstein of Tel Hashomer hospital said the functioning of several of Mr. Sharon’s organs had declined and that his life was in danger.
    Having fought in three Middle Eastern wars, Mr. Sharon is admired by many Israelis as a great military leader, but reviled by Palestinians.
    While serving as defence minister in 1982, he masterminded Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. During the invasion, Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel massacred hundreds of Palestinians in two Beirut refugee camps under Israeli control.

    The following year an Israeli commission of inquiry ruled that he carried personal responsibility for allowing the massacres to take place.
    He was nevertheless elected prime minister 18 years later, pledging to achieve “security and true peace” and served until his second stroke.
    Mr. Sharon was a keen promoter of the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. He also initiated the construction of the controversial West Bank barrier.
    But in 2005, despite fierce opposition in Israel, he ordered the unilateral withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip.
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