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Public Remembrance, Private Funeral for Israel's Ariel Sharon

Israel will hold a state memorial service followed by a private funeral Monday for former prime minister Ariel Sharon.

Mr. Sharon died Saturday at age 85. He spent the last eight years of his life in a coma following a massive stroke.

His body lay in state for several hours in parliament Sunday, to give mourners a chance to pay their respects.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will lead the U.S. delegation to Israel. Mr. Sharon will be laid to rest at his ranch in the Negev desert in southern Israel.

Mr. Sharon was prime minister from 2001 until his 2006 stroke.



Israel's current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said there is "deep sorrow" in the Jewish state over Mr. Sharon's death. Mr. Netanyahu says the former leader will live forever in the nation's heart.

U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders sent condolence messages to Israel and Mr. Sharon's family. But Palestinians who had seen the former minister as a bitter enemy rejoiced at the news of his death.

Mr. Sharon was one of Israel's most influential and controversial figures, as both a military commander and a political leader.

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