Ex-Isreali PM, Ariel Sharon, Dies At 85 After 8 Years In Coma!

Israelis are beginning a short period of mourning for ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who has died aged 85 of heart failure after eight years in a coma. The public will pay their respects when his body lies in state on Sunday before a private burial on Monday. Israeli and world figures have paid tribute to a man who fought in four major wars before taking to the political stage. But there was little sorrow among Palestinians who saw him as an enemy.  Read the rest after the break

The head of the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv confirmed Mr Sharon’s death on Saturday afternoon, the Jewish Sabbath, more than a week after it emerged that his health was in decline.  Gilad Sharon, one of his two sons, said outside the hospital: “He has gone. He went when he decided to go.” President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spoke of a leader “who dedicated his life to the state of Israel”.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres, a long-time friend and political rival who joined a unity government with Mr Sharon in 2001, said he was “an exceptional man and an exceptional commander who moved his people and loved them and the people loved him”. Mr Sharon, known as “The Bulldozer”, was a giant of Israel’s military and political scene whose term as prime minister ended abruptly when he had a major stroke that put him in a coma in January 2006.
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