Ariel Sharon Has Died

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

JERUSALEM -- The son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says his father has died.
The 85-year-old Sharon had been in a coma since a debilitating stroke eight years ago. The Sheba Medical Center that has been treating Sharon said last week that his health has been declining. Sharon had been suffered from failure vital organs including his kidneys shortly before his death.
His son Gilad Sharon said: "He has gone. He went when he decided to go."
The hard-charging Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic figures.
After a distinguished, and controversial, military career, he went into politics and held a number of Cabinet posts.
He was elected prime minister in 2001, and despite his hardline views, led Israel's historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.
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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is remembering former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a leader who dedicated his life to Israel.
In a written statement, Obama used Sharon's death Saturday to reaffirm what the president says is America's unshakable commitment to Israel's security and its appreciation for the friendship between the two countries and their people.
Obama says the U.S. continues to press for lasting peace and security for all Israelis.
Tributes to Sharon also poured in from Secretary of State John Kerry, former President Bill Clinton and other Washington leaders.
Kerry calls Sharon a "big bear of a man" who's finally at rest.
Sharon died eight years after a stroke put him in a coma. He was 85.
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RAMALLAH, West Bank -- While many around the world are paying tribute to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, his death is being celebrated by some Palestinians.
At a Gaza refugee camp, people burned pictures of Sharon and passed out sweets.
Sharon was loathed by many Palestinians for leading a settlement drive on the lands they want for a state and conducting military offensives against them in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.
A leader in the Islamic militant group Hamas says Sharon caused suffering to generations of Palestinians.
A man who served as Palestinian intelligence chief when Sharon was prime minister a decade ago, Tawfik Tirawi, says Sharon "wanted to erase the Palestinian people from the map." He says Sharon "wanted to kill us, but at the end of the day, Sharon is dead and the Palestinian people are alive."
The Israeli soldier-turned-politician-turned statesman died today at age 85, eight years after a stroke put him in a coma.


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