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Former Israeli PM Sharon Near Death

Colin Hale |
January 2, 2014 | 7:12 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Ariel Sharon/via Flickr Creative Commons
Ariel Sharon/via Flickr Creative Commons
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is in "critical condition and his life is definitely in danger," according to hospital officials, with preparations beginning for an official state funeral.

Sharon has been in a coma since suffering a stroke in January 2006. In recent days, Sharon's vital organs have begun to fail. Officials from the Tel Aviv hospital treating Sharon have indicated that he is in renal failure due to an infection that has spread from his kidneys to other organs.

Preparations for an official state funeral have begun in Israel, allowing for the "usually strict Jewish religious edict requiring the dead to be buried within a day," according to The Telegraph (UK). The delay would also time for world leaders to attend.

Sharon became prime minister of Israel in 2001 during the second Palestinian intifada. At the time of his stroke in 2006, Sharon was campaigning for re-election under his new political party, the Kadima party, after leaving the right-wing Likud party.

The Israeli government officially removed Sharon from office in 2006.

According to reports, Sharon had requested to be buried next to his wife at his home in Negev and not at the traditional grave site for former prime ministers on Mount Herzl.

Read more about Ariel Sharon at Al Jazeera, The Telegraph (UK), CNN, and Haaretz

Reach Executive Producer Colin Hale here. Follow him on Twitter.



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