News / Middle East

Hospital: Ariel Sharon's Health 'Critical'

FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaks during a press conference at his Jerusalem office, Nov. 21, 2005.
FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaks during a press conference at his Jerusalem office, Nov. 21, 2005.
VOA News
The head of the hospital treating former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon says he is now in critical condition.

Zeev Rotstein of Tel Hashomer hospital told reporters Thursday that Sharon's life is in danger with declining function in several vital organs.

"Mr. Ariel Sharon, who's hospitalised in our hospital for the last seven years, shows some signs of deterioration during the following two days, with some critical misfunction or malfunction of some of his organs, including his kidneys. He is under, I would say, our treatment, but we feel that the situation is critical and some danger is expected for his life," said Rotstein.  

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of Sharon on Thursday. "Our thoughts, my thoughts are with the Sharon family," Kerry said ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "We remember his contributions, the sacrifices he made to ensure the survival and the wellbeing of Israel."

The 85-year-old has been in a coma since suffering a stroke in 2006.

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

Some information in this report was provided by Reuters.

  • Then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gives a televised address to the nation from Jerusalem, August 15, 2005.
  • Gilad Sharon, son of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announces his father's death at the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 11, 2014.
  • An Israeli policeman holds up a hospital curtain to block the view of the body of the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as it is transferred into an ambulance to be taken from the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 11, 2014.
  • Gilad Sharon visits his mother's grave, where his father, the late Israeli Prime minister Ariel Sharon, is expected to be buried, outside Sharon's farm in Havat Hashikmim, southern Israel, Jan. 11, 2014.
  • A Palestinian distributes sweets to pedestrians on a street in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, after hearing of the death of former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Jan. 11, 2014.
  • Israeli Major General Ariel Sharon watches an aerial drop through his binoculars in the Sinai Peninsula, then occupied by Israel, during the Middle East War, June 8, 1967.
  • Israeli Major General in the Reserves Ariel Sharon smiles near the Suez Canal, then occupied by Israel, Oct. 31, 1973.
  • Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon stands with his wife Lily and their son while visiting the Suez Canal area, Jan. 19, 1982.
  • British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher greets Israeli Minister of Industry and Trade Ariel Sharon during a reception in Jerusalem, May 26, 1986.
  • Israel's Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon sits on a bench with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the Middle East peace summit at the Wye River Conference Center, Oct. 18, 1998.
  • Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon rides in a helicopter as he escorts Texas Governor George Bush and Governor Mike Leavitt of Utah on a tour over Israel and the West Bank territories, Dec. 1, 1998.
  • Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. President George W. Bush, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Jordan's King Abdullah walk to the podium for their final statement at the end of a summit in Aqaba, June 4, 2003.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a meeting in Jerusalem, Jan. 16, 2005.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before their meeting in Jerusalem, Nov. 14, 2005.

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