Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been rushed to a Jerusalem hospital after suffering his second stroke in less than three weeks.

Doctors at Hadassah Hospital said the stroke Wednesday was "significant," and that Mr. Sharon was given anesthetic after being admitted to the clinic.

The prime minister's office said that while Mr. Sharon was under anesthetic, his duties were transferred to his deputy, Ehud Olmert.

Earlier, his office said the 77-year-old was being accompanied by his personal physician as he was taken to the hospital from his ranch in southern Israel.

Mr. Sharon was admitted to the same hospital where he was to undergo a procedure Thursday to correct a defect in his heart.

That procedure was ordered after Mr. Sharon suffered a mild stroke last month.