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Comatose Sharon Will Be Moved to Ranch


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (file: Dec. 1, 2005)

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (file: Dec. 1, 2005)

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, deep in a coma from two strokes nearly five years ago, is expected to be moved from a hospital to his family ranch.

Israeli media reported Thursday that Mr. Sharon will be transferred from Sheba Medical Center to his Sycamore Ranch in the western Negev in the next few days.

The Jerusalem Post reported that security officials will keep him out of view during the transfer.

Hospital officials were tightlipped about the temporary release from Sheba's rehabilitation department.

Sharon's former aide, Raanan Gissin, told The Associated Press, "the plan is by the end of the week for him to return home."

Media reports say Mr. Sharon will remain at home for a trial period that eventually will lead to longer stays. He will be monitored by a medical team.

Mr. Sharon, who is 82, was stricken months after completing Israel's unilateral 2005 withdrawal from Gaza and setting up the centrist Kadima Party. He has been a central figure as a military leader and political operative since Israel's formation in 1948.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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