Saturday, 11 January 2014

Controversial figures Ariel Sharon dies at 85

Former Israeli prime minister dies eight years after going into a coma following a stroke.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died, Israeli Army Radio and medical sources have announced.

He was 85 years old and had been in a coma since 2006, when a stroke incapacitated him at the height of his political power.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The next year, Sharon suffered a massive stroke and fell into a long-term vegetative state until his death on January 11, 2014.
"Ariel Sharon has passed away," said Shlomo Noy, a spokesman for Sheba medical center in Tel Aviv, where Sharon was being treated for most of the past eight years, on Saturday.

Officials at the hospital announced a week ago that Sharon's health had deteriorated sharply and that he was in "grave condition" with his family at his bedside.

"He was considered to be in a state of minimal consciousness, with ups and downs in his medical condition, and minimal non-verbal communication," Noy said.

Sharon first had a small stroke in December 2005 and was put on blood thinners before experiencing a severe brain hemorrhage on January 4, 2006.

After spending months in the Jerusalem hospital where he was initially treated, Sharon was transferred to the long-term care facility at Tel Hashomer hospital.

He was taken home briefly at one point but returned to the hospital, where he has remained since.

In September, Sharon underwent surgery to insert a new feeding tube.
Controversial figure 

Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic and controversial figures. As one of Israel's most famous generals, he was known for bold tactics and an occasional refusal to obey orders. As a politician he became known as "the bulldozer", a man contemptuous of his critics while also capable of getting things done. 

A prominent hardline voice for decades, he was elected prime minister in 2001. 

In mid-2005, he directed a unilateral withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip, ending a 38-year military control of the territory. 

It was a shocking turnaround for a man who had been a leading player in building Jewish settlements in captured territories. 

He later left his hardline Likud Party and established the centrist Kadima Party. 

He appeared on his way to an easy re-election when he suffered a stroke in January 2006. 

His deputy, Ehud Olmert, took over and was elected prime minister a few months later.

Sabra and Shatila massacre

The massacre lasted for three days (16, 17 and 18 of September 1982), approximately 3500-8000 persons, including children, infants, women and elderly were slaughtered and murdered in this horrific and gruesome massacre perpetrated by the Israeli army and its allied criminal militia.
Back then, around 20.000 refugees lived in the refugee camp that was supposed, as any other camp, to receive international protection.

Israeli soldiers, led by Sharon and Chief of Staff, Rafael Etan, made sure their forces are surrounding the refugee camp, isolated it from its surrounding, and allowed the Phalanges to invade it and murder thousands of innocent refugees using white weapons.

The Israeli army also fired hundreds of flares during the massacres in night hours to enable the murderers to commit their war crime. The army claimed that it was searching for nearly 1500 Palestinian freedom fighters who allegedly were in the camp.

But the fighters were somewhere else, joining battle fronts countering the Israeli aggression, and most of those left in the camp, left to face their horrific end, were elderly women and children.

Israel wanted to avenge its defeat after engaging in a three-month battle and siege that ended by international guarantees, to protect the civilians the Palestinian resistance left Beirut as part of an agreement that assured the protection of civilians.

Israel wanted to send a message to the Palestinian refugees; it wanted to continue its aggression and invasion into Lebanon in 1982.

Ariel Sharon, who served as Israel’s Defense Minister, led the assault.
Source : Al-Jazeera, Global Research

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