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Hospital: Ariel Sharon's Health Worsens

  • VOA News

FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaks during a press conference at his Jerusalem office, Nov. 21, 2005.
The health of former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon has sharply deteriorated.

That announcement was made Wednesday by the hospital treating Sharon since he lapsed into a coma after suffering a stroke in 2006.

Israeli media reported that the 85-year-old former leader was suffering from kidney problems and that his family was at the hospital.

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.

He has been in a vegetative state at Tel Hashomer hospital outside Tel Aviv since suffering the stroke at the height of his political power.