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Ariel Sharon, Former Israeli Prime Minister, Dies

Francesca Bessey |
January 11, 2014 | 11:13 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

(Jim Wallace, Wikimedia Commons)
(Jim Wallace, Wikimedia Commons)
Eight years after a stroke put him into a coma at the height of his political power, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died. He was 85.

A spokesman for the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, where Sharon has been treated for most of the past eight years, gave the news Saturday. This follows an announcement made by the hospital last week that Sharon's condition had deteriorated sharply and his family was at his bedside.

SEE ALSO: Former Israeli PM Sharon Near Death

Yoram Ravid, a Sharon family friend, told Al Jazeera that the former PM would have a military funeral within 36 hours of his death and that it would be held near Sharon's ranch in the Negev Desert in southern Israel.

Sharon was a controversial figure while he was alive, nicknamed "the bulldozer" for his hard-line tactics and known for both his encouraging of tens of thousands of Israelis to move to settlements in the occupied West Bank and his unilateral withdrawal of troops and settlers from the similarly occupied Gaza Strip.


Read the full story at Al Jazeera.

Reach Executive Producer Francesca Bessey here; follow her here.



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