January 03, 2014
Hospital: Israel's Sharon in a 'Slow, Steady' Decline
Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's health has deteriorated further, with hospital officials now saying he is in a "slow, steady decline."
Zeev Rotstein, director of the Tel Hashomer hospital, said on Friday that Sharon's kidneys and other vital organs are now malfunctioning.
The hospital said Thursday the 85-year-old former Israeli leader was in critical condition. He has been in a coma since suffering a stroke in 2006 at the height of his political power.
Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic and controversial figures. 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 considered by many to be a shocking turnaround for a man who had been a leading player in building Jewish settlements in captured Palestinian territories.