Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon

Overview
Ariel Sharon is an Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

. He has been in a permanent vegetative state
Persistent vegetative state
A persistent vegetative state is a disorder of consciousness in which patients with severe brain damage are in a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness. It is a diagnosis of some uncertainty in that it deals with a syndrome. After four weeks in a vegetative state , the patient is...

 since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006.

Sharon was a commander in the Israeli Army
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 since its inception in 1948. As an army officer, he participated in the 1948 War of Independence, the Qibya massacre
Qibya massacre
The Qibya massacre, also known as the Qibya incident, occurred in October 1953 when Israeli troops under Ariel Sharon attacked the village of Qibya in the West Bank. Sixty-nine Palestinian Arabs, two thirds of them women and children were killed. Forty-five houses, a school, and a mosque were...

 of 1953, the 1956 Suez War, the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 of 1967, and the Yom-Kippur War of 1973. After retiring from the army, Sharon joined the right-wing Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 party, and served in a number of ministerial posts in Likud-led governments in 1977–92 and 1996–99.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ariel Sharon'
Start a new discussion about 'Ariel Sharon'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Ariel Sharon is an Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

. He has been in a permanent vegetative state
Persistent vegetative state
A persistent vegetative state is a disorder of consciousness in which patients with severe brain damage are in a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness. It is a diagnosis of some uncertainty in that it deals with a syndrome. After four weeks in a vegetative state , the patient is...

 since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006.

Sharon was a commander in the Israeli Army
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 since its inception in 1948. As an army officer, he participated in the 1948 War of Independence, the Qibya massacre
Qibya massacre
The Qibya massacre, also known as the Qibya incident, occurred in October 1953 when Israeli troops under Ariel Sharon attacked the village of Qibya in the West Bank. Sixty-nine Palestinian Arabs, two thirds of them women and children were killed. Forty-five houses, a school, and a mosque were...

 of 1953, the 1956 Suez War, the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 of 1967, and the Yom-Kippur War of 1973. After retiring from the army, Sharon joined the right-wing Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 party, and served in a number of ministerial posts in Likud-led governments in 1977–92 and 1996–99. He became the leader of the Likud in 2000, and served as Israel’s Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006.

During his long military and political career, Sharon was considered a controversial and polarizing figure.

In 1983 the commission established by the Israeli Government
Kahan Commission
The Kahan Commission , formally known as the Commission of Inquiry into the Events at the Refugee Camps in Beirut, was established by the Israeli government on 28 September 1982, to investigate the Sabra and Shatila Massacre . The Kahan Commission was chaired by the President of the Supreme Court,...

 found that as Minister of Defense during the 1982 Lebanon War
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

 Sharon bore "personal responsibility" for the massacre by Lebanese militias of Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila
Sabra and Shatila massacre
The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp...

 for having disregarded the prospect of acts of bloodshed by the Phalangists against the population of the refugee camps and not preventing their entry. The Kahan Commission recommended Sharon's removal as Defense Minister, and Sharon did resign after his initial refusal to do so.

In 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s Sharon championed construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. However, as Prime Minister, in 2004–05 Sharon orchestrated Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan , also known as the "Disengagement plan", "Gaza expulsion plan", and "Hitnatkut", was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005, to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from...

. Facing stiff opposition to this policy within the Likud, in November 2005 he left Likud to form a new Kadima
Kadima
Kadima is a centrist and liberal political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely to support the issue of Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and was soon joined by like-minded Labor politicians...

 party.

On 4 January 2006, Sharon suffered a severe stroke that left him in a persistent vegetative state
Persistent vegetative state
A persistent vegetative state is a disorder of consciousness in which patients with severe brain damage are in a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness. It is a diagnosis of some uncertainty in that it deals with a syndrome. After four weeks in a vegetative state , the patient is...

. In March 2006 elections, Kadima, led by Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

 following Sharon's stroke, went on to win plurality of Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 seats, becoming the senior coalition partner in Israel's 31st government
Thirty-first government of Israel
The thirty-first government of Israel was formed by Ehud Olmert on 4 May 2006, following Kadima's vistory in the March elections. His coalition initially included the Labor Party, Shas and Gil, and held 67 of the 120 seats in the Knesset...

.

Early life


Sharon was born in Kfar Malal
Kfar Malal
Kfar Malal is an agricultural moshav in the Sharon region in central Israel. Originally established as Ein Hai in 1916, it was later named after Rabbi Moshe Leib Lilienblum , whose acronym in Hebrew is MLL...

, then in the British Mandate of Palestine
Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine existed while the British Mandate for Palestine, which formally began in September 1923 and terminated in May 1948, was in effect...

, to a family of Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews or Litvaks are Jews with roots in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:...

 – Shmuel Sheinerman, of Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus
Brest, Belarus
Brest , formerly also Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk , is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the city of Terespol, where the Bug River and Mukhavets rivers meet...

) and Dvora (formerly Vera), of Mogilev
Mogilev
Mogilev is a city in eastern Belarus, about 76 km from the border with Russia's Smolensk Oblast and 105 km from the border with Russia's Bryansk Oblast. It has more than 367,788 inhabitants...

. His father was studying agronomy
Agronomy
Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, feed, fiber, and reclamation. Agronomy encompasses work in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science. Agronomy is the application of a combination of sciences like biology,...

 at the university of Tbilisi
Tbilisi
Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mt'k'vari River. The name is derived from an early Georgian form T'pilisi and it was officially known as Tiflis until 1936...

, Georgia (Georgian SSR) and his mother had just started her fourth year of medical studies when the couple married. They immigrated to the British Mandate Palestine from Russia, fleeing the early Pogroms associated with the Bolshevik Revolution. Apart from Hebrew, Sharon's father spoke Yiddish and his mother spoke Russian; their son also learned to speak Russian as a young boy.

The family arrived in the Second Aliyah
Second Aliyah
The Second Aliyah was an important and highly influential aliyah that took place between 1904 and 1914, during which approximately 40,000 Jews immigrated into Ottoman Palestine, mostly from the Russian Empire, some from Yemen....

 and settled in a socialist, secular
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 community where, despite being Mapai
Mapai
Mapai was a left-wing political party in Israel, and was the dominant force in Israeli politics until its merger into the Israeli Labor Party in 1968...

 supporters, they were known to be contrarians against the prevailing community consensus:

The Scheinermans' eventual ostracism... followed the 1933 Arlozorov murder when Dvora and Shmuel refused to endorse the Labor movement's anti-Revisionist calumny and participate in Bolshevic-style public revilement rallies, then the order of the day. Retribution was quick to come. They were expelled from the local health-fund clinic and village synagogue. The cooperative's truck wouldn't make deliveries to their farm nor collect produce.


Four years after their arrival at Kfar Malal
Kfar Malal
Kfar Malal is an agricultural moshav in the Sharon region in central Israel. Originally established as Ein Hai in 1916, it was later named after Rabbi Moshe Leib Lilienblum , whose acronym in Hebrew is MLL...

, the Sheinermans had a daughter, Yehudit (Dita), and two years after, they had a son, Ariel. At age 10, Sharon entered the Zionist youth movement Hassadeh. In 1942 at the age of 14, Sharon joined the Gadna
Gadna (Israel)
Gadna is an Israeli military program to prepare youth for their mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Forces or Border Police. A one week program of discipline and military learning run mostly by soldiers of the Nahal infantry brigade, as well as by soldiers recruited and trained...

, a paramilitary youth battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

, and later the Haganah
Haganah
Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.- Origins :...

, the underground paramilitary force and the Jewish military precursor to the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 (IDF).

From 1948 War to Suez Crisis


At the creation of Israel (and Haganah
Haganah
Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.- Origins :...

's transformation into the Israel Defense Forces), Sharon became a platoon
Platoon
A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

 commander in the Alexandroni Brigade
Alexandroni Brigade
The Alexandroni Brigade is an Israel Defense Forces brigade that fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Along with the 7th Armoured Brigade both units had 139 killed during the first battle of Latrun - Operation Ben Nun Alef .The unit is currently a reserve unit.-Katz controversy:In 1998, Teddy Katz...

. He was severely wounded in the groin by the Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

ian Arab Legion
Arab Legion
The Arab Legion was the regular army of Transjordan and then Jordan in the early part of the 20th century.-Creation:...

 in the first Battle of Latrun, an unsuccessful attempt to relieve the besieged
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

 Jewish community of Jerusalem. In September 1949, Sharon was promoted to company
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

 commander (of the Golani Brigade
Golani Brigade
The Golani Brigade is an Israeli infantry brigade that is subordinated to the 36th Division and traditionally associated with the Northern Command. Its symbol is a green tree on a yellow background, and its soldiers wear a brown beret. It is one of the most highly decorated infantry units in the...

's reconnaissance unit) and in 1950 to intelligence officer
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 for Central Command. He then took leave to begin studies in history and Middle Eastern culture
Middle Eastern studies
Middle Eastern studies is a name given to a number of academic programs associated with the study of the history, culture, politics, economies, and geography of the Middle East, an area that is generally interpreted to cover a range of nations extending from North Africa in the west to the Chinese...

 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

. A year and a half later, he was asked to return to active service in the rank of major and as the leader of the new Unit 101
Unit 101
Unit 101 was a special forces unit of the Israeli Defense Forces , founded and commanded by Ariel Sharon on orders from Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in August 1953...

, Israel's first special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 unit.

Unit 101 undertook a series of military raids against Palestinians
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 and neighboring Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 states that helped bolster Israeli morale and fortify its deterrent
Deterrence theory
Deterrence theory gained increased prominence as a military strategy during the Cold War with regard to the use of nuclear weapons, and features prominently in current United States foreign policy regarding the development of nuclear technology in North Korea and Iran. Deterrence theory however was...

 image. The unit was known for raids against Arab civilians and military, notably in the widely condemned Qibya massacre
Qibya massacre
The Qibya massacre, also known as the Qibya incident, occurred in October 1953 when Israeli troops under Ariel Sharon attacked the village of Qibya in the West Bank. Sixty-nine Palestinian Arabs, two thirds of them women and children were killed. Forty-five houses, a school, and a mosque were...

 in the fall of 1953, in which 69 Palestinian civilians, some of them children, were killed by Sharon's troops in a reprisal attack on their West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 village. In the documentary Israel and the Arabs: 50 Year War, Sharon recalls what happened after the raid, which was heavily condemned by many Western nations, including the U.S.:

I was summoned to see Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

. It was the first time I met him, and right from the start Ben-Gurion said to me: "Let me first tell you one thing: it doesn't matter what the world says about Israel, it doesn't matter what they say about us anywhere else. The only thing that matters is that we can exist here on the land of our forefathers. And unless we show the Arabs that there is a high price to pay for murdering Jews, we won't survive."

A few months after its founding, Unit 101 was merged with the 890 Paratroopers Battalion to create the Paratroopers Brigade
Paratroopers Brigade (IDF)
The Paratroopers Brigade , also known as the 35th Brigade, is a unit of paratroopers within the Israel Defense Forces , and forms a major part of the Infantry Corps....

 (Sharon eventually became the latter's commander). It continued to attack military, culminating with the attack on the Qalqilyah
Qalqilyah
-Bibliography: p. -External links:**...

 police station in the autumn of 1956.

In 1952–53, Sharon attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

, taking History and Oriental studies.

Sharon was widowed twice. Shortly after becoming a military instructor
Drill instructor
A drill instructor is a non-commissioned officer or Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in the armed forces or police forces with specific duties that vary by country. In the U.S. armed forces, they are assigned the duty of indoctrinating new recruits entering the military into the customs and...

, he married Margalit, with whom he had a son, Gur. Margalit died in a car accident in May 1962. Their son, Gur, died in October 1967 after a friend accidentally shot him while they were playing with a rifle. After Margalit's death, Sharon married her younger sister, Lily. They had two sons, Omri
Omri Sharon
Omri Sharon is a former Israeli politician. Sharon served as a member of Knesset between 2003 and 2006. In 2006, he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to nine months in prison. He reported to Maasiyahu Prison to begin serving his sentence in 2008. He was released later the same year, having...

 and Gilad. Lily Sharon died of cancer in 2000.

From 1958 to 1962, Sharon served as commander of an infantry brigade and studied law at Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv University is a public university located in Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel. With nearly 30,000 students, TAU is Israel's largest university.-History:...

.

Mitla incident



In the 1956 Suez War
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 (the British "Operation Musketeer"), Sharon commanded Unit 202 (the Paratroopers Brigade), and was responsible for taking ground east of the Sinai's
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

 Mitla Pass
Mitla Pass
The Mitla Pass is a 32 km-long snaky pass in the Sinai of Egypt, wedged between mountain ranges to the north and south, located about 50 km east of Suez...

 and eventually taking the pass itself. Having successfully carried out the first part of his mission (joining a battalion parachuted near Mitla with the rest of the brigade moving on ground), Sharon's unit was deployed near the pass. Neither reconnaissance aircraft
Surveillance aircraft
A surveillance aircraft is an aircraft used for surveillance — collecting information over time. They are operated by military forces and other government agencies in roles such as intelligence gathering, battlefield surveillance, airspace surveillance, observation , border patrol and fishery...

 nor scouts
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 reported enemy forces inside the Mitla Pass. Sharon, whose forces were initially heading east, away from the pass, reported to his superiors that he was increasingly concerned with the possibility of an enemy thrust through the pass, which could attack his brigade from the flank or the rear.

Sharon asked for permission to attack the pass several times, but his requests were denied, though he was allowed to check its status so that if the pass was empty, he could receive permission to take it later. Sharon sent a small scout force, which was met with heavy fire and became bogged down due to vehicle malfunction
Malfunction
A malfunction is when something functions wrongly or does not function at all.Some types of malfunctions are:*Malfunction , malfunction of a parachute*Sexual malfunction, also called "sexual dysfunction"**See also dyspareunia...

 in the middle of the pass. Sharon ordered the rest of his troops to attack in order to aid their comrades. In the ensuing successful battle to capture the pass, 260 Egyptian and 38 Israeli soldiers were killed. Sharon was criticized by his superiors and he was damaged by allegations several years later made by several former subordinates, who claimed that Sharon tried to provoke the Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

 and sent out the scouts in bad faith, ensuring that a battle would ensue.

Six-Day War and Yom Kippur War


The Mitla incident hindered Sharon's military career for several years. In the meantime, he occupied the position of an infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

 commander and received a law degree
Law degree
A Law degree is an academic degree conferred for studies in law. Such degrees are generally preparation for legal careers; but while their curricula may be reviewed by legal authority, they do not themselves confer a license...

 from Tel Aviv University. However, when Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

 became Chief of Staff
Ramatkal
The Chief of the General Staff, also known as the Commander-in-Chief of the Israel Defense Forces is the supreme commander and Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. At any given time, the Chief of Staff is the only active officer holding the IDF's highest rank, Rav Aluf , which is usually...

 in 1964, Sharon began again to rise rapidly in the ranks, occupying the positions of Infantry School Commander and Head of Army Training Branch, eventually achieving the rank of Aluf
Aluf
Aluf is the term used for General and Admiral in the Israel Defense Forces . In addition to the Aluf rank itself, there are four other ranks which are derivatives of the word...

 (Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

). In the 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, Sharon commanded the most powerful armored division on the Sinai front
Front (military)
A military front or battlefront is a contested armed frontier between opposing forces. This can be a local or tactical front, or it can range to a theater...

 which made a breakthrough in the Kusseima-Abu-Ageila fortified area (see Battle of Abu-Ageila
Battle of Abu-Ageila (1967)
The 1967 Battle of Abu-Ageila was a military confrontation between the Israeli and Egyptian military which was part of the Six-Day War of June 1967...

). In 1969, he was appointed the Head of IDF's Southern Command. He had no further promotions before retiring in August 1973. Soon after, he joined the Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 ("Unity") political party.

At the start of the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 on 6 October 1973, Sharon was called back to active duty along with his assigned reserve armored division. His forces did not engage the Egyptian Army
Egyptian Army
The Egyptian Army is the largest service branch within the Egyptian Armed Forces and holds power in the current Egyptian government. It is estimated to number around 379,000, in addition to 479,000 reservists for a total of 858,000 strong. The modern army was created in the 1820s, and during the...

 immediately, despite his requests. Under cover of darkness Sharon's forces moved to a point on the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 that had been prepared before the war. Bridging equipment was thrown across the canal on 17 October. The bridgehead
Bridgehead
A bridgehead is a High Middle Ages military term, which antedating the invention of cannons was in the original meaning expressly a referent term to the military fortification that protects the end of a bridge...

 was between two Egyptian Armies. He then headed north towards Ismailia, intent on cutting the Egyptian second army's supply lines, but his division was halted south of the Fresh Water Canal
Fresh Water Canal
The Fresh Water Canal is a modern canal of Egypt, also called the Ismaïlia Canal, that runs through the now dry distributary of the Wadi Tumilat and from Cairo to Suez...

.

Abraham (Bren) Adan's
Abraham Adan
Avraham "Bren" Adan is a former Israeli general who served in the military between 1947 and 1973.-Biography:Adan was born in Kfar Gileadi, British Mandate Palestine in 1926. He joined the Palmach in 1943...

 division passed over the bridgehead into Africa advancing to within 101 kilometers of Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

. His division managed to encircle Suez
Suez
Suez is a seaport city in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north coast of the Gulf of Suez , near the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, having the same boundaries as Suez governorate. It has three harbors, Adabya, Ain Sokhna and Port Tawfiq, and extensive port facilities...

, cutting off and encircling
Encirclement
Encirclement is a military term for the situation when a force or target is isolated and surrounded by enemy forces. The German term for this is Kesselschlacht ; a comparable English term might be "in the bag"....

 the Third Army, but did not force its surrender before the ceasefire
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

. Tensions between the two generals followed Sharon's decision, but a military tribunal
Military tribunal
A military tribunal is a kind of military court designed to try members of enemy forces during wartime, operating outside the scope of conventional criminal and civil proceedings. The judges are military officers and fulfill the role of jurors...

 later found his action was militarily effective. This move was regarded by many Israelis as the turning point of the war in the Sinai front. Thus, Sharon is widely viewed as a war hero who saved Israel from defeat in Sinai. A photo of Sharon wearing a head bandage on the Suez Canal became a famous symbol of Israeli military prowess.

Sharon's political positions were controversial and he was relieved of duty in February 1974.

Beginnings of political career


In the 1940s and 1950s, Sharon seemed to be personally devoted to the ideals of Mapai
Mapai
Mapai was a left-wing political party in Israel, and was the dominant force in Israeli politics until its merger into the Israeli Labor Party in 1968...

, the predecessor of the modern Labor Party. However, after retiring from military service, he was instrumental in establishing Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 in July 1973 by a merger of Herut
Herut
Herut was the major right-wing political party in Israel from the 1940s until its formal merger into Likud in 1988, and an adherent of Revisionist Zionism.-History:...

, the Liberal Party
Liberalism in Israel
Many liberal political parties in Israel's history can claim substantial popular support, mainly proved by having representation in the Knesset.Since Israel's founding, liberals have been active in politics. Note that the label "liberal" was also used by a conservative party that derived from the...

 and independent elements. Sharon became chairman of the campaign staff for that year's elections
Israeli legislative election, 1973
The Elections for the eighth Knesset were held on 31 December 1973. Voter turnout was 78.6%.-Results:1 Aryeh Eliav left the Alignment and merged with Ratz to form Ya'ad - Civil Rights Movement...

, which were scheduled for November. Two and a half weeks after the start of the election campaign, the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 erupted and Sharon was called back to reserve service. In the elections Sharon won a seat, but a year later he resigned.

From June 1975 to March 1976, Sharon was a special aide to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

. He planned his return to politics for the 1977 elections
Israeli legislative election, 1977
The Elections for the ninth Knesset were held on 17 May 1977. For the first time in Israeli political history, the right-wing, led by Likud, won the election, ending almost 30 years of rule by the left-wing Alignment and its predecessor, Mapai...

; first he tried to return to the Likud and replace Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 at the head of the party. He suggested to Simha Erlich
Simha Erlich
Simha Erlich was an Israeli politician. He was the leader of the Liberal Party and Minister of Finance under Menachem Begin, and is known for his attempt to liberalize the Israeli economy.-Biography:...

, who headed the Liberal Party bloc in the Likud, that he was more fitting than Begin to win an election victory; he was rejected, however. He then tried to join the Labor Party and the centrist
Centrism
In politics, centrism is the ideal or the practice of promoting policies that lie different from the standard political left and political right. Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of left-right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between...

 Democratic Movement for Change
Democratic Movement for Change
The Democratic Movement for Change , commonly known by its Hebrew acronym Dash was a short-lived and initially highly-successful centrist political party in Israel...

, but was rejected by those parties too. Only then did he form his own list, Shlomtzion, which won two Knesset seats in the subsequent elections. Immediately after the elections he merged Shlomtzion with the Likud and became Minister of Agriculture
Agriculture Minister of Israel
The Agriculture Minister of Israel is the political head of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and a relatively minor position in the Israeli cabinet. Since 1992 the full title of the position has been the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development , the Development Ministry having been...

.

When Sharon joined Begin's government he had relatively little political experience. During this period, Sharon supported the Gush Emunim
Gush Emunim
Gush Emunim was an Israeli messianic and political movement committed to establishing Jewish settlements in the West Bank. While not formally established as an organization until 1974 in the wake of the Yom Kippur War, Gush Emunim sprang out of the conquests of the Six-Day War in 1967, encouraging...

 settlements movement and was viewed as the patron of the settlers' movement. He used his position to encourage the establishment of a network of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories to prevent the possibility of Palestinian Arabs' return of these territories. Sharon doubled the number of Jewish settlements on the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 during his tenure.

On his settlement policy, Sharon said while addressing a meeting of the Tzomet
Tzomet
Tzomet is a small secular, right-wing political party in Israel.-Ideology:The party was the one who first brought the "peace for peace" slogan, which today is used by all Israeli right wing parties and movements...

 party: "Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Judean) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them."

After the 1981 elections, Begin rewarded Sharon for his important contribution to Likud's narrow win, by appointing him Minister of Defense.

Sabra and Shatila massacre


During the 1982 Lebanon War
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

, while Sharon was Defense Minister, the Sabra and Shatila massacre
Sabra and Shatila massacre
The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp...

 occurred between 16 September and 18. Between 800 and 3,500 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp
Refugee camp
A refugee camp is a temporary settlement built to receive refugees. Hundreds of thousands of people may live in any one single camp. Usually they are built and run by a government, the United Nations, or international organizations, or NGOs.Refugee camps are generally set up in an impromptu...

s were killed by the Phalanges
Kataeb Party
The Lebanese Phalanges , better known in English as the Phalange , is a traditional right-wing Lebanese political party. Although it is officially secular, it is mainly supported by Maronite Christians. The party played a major role in the Lebanese War...

—Lebanese Maronite Christian militias. The Security Chief of the Phalange militia, Elie Hobeika
Elie Hobeika
Elie Hobeika was a Lebanese Phalangist and Lebanese Forces militia commander during the Lebanese Civil War, and former MP...

, was the ground commander of the militiamen who entered the Palestinian camps and killed the Palestinians. The Phalange had been sent into the camps to clear out PLO fighters while Israeli forces surrounded the camps, blocking camp exits and providing logistical
Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

 support. The killings led some to label Sharon "the Butcher of Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

".

An Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 report on 15 September 1982 stated:
Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, in a statement, tied the killing [of the Phalangist leader Gemayel] to the PLO, saying: "It symbolises the terrorist murderousness of the PLO terrorist organisations and their supporters." Habib Chartouni, a Lebanese Christian from the Syrian Socialist National Party confessed to the murder of Gemayel, and no Palestinians were involved. Sharon had used this to instigate the entrance of the Lebanese militias into the camps.


Robert Maroun Hatem, Elie Hobeika
Elie Hobeika
Elie Hobeika was a Lebanese Phalangist and Lebanese Forces militia commander during the Lebanese Civil War, and former MP...

's bodyguard, stated in his book From Israel to Damascus that Hobeika ordered the massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

 of civilians in defiance of Israeli instructions to behave like a "dignified" army.

Kahan Commission finds Sharon "personally responsible" for massacre


The investigative Kahan Commission
Kahan Commission
The Kahan Commission , formally known as the Commission of Inquiry into the Events at the Refugee Camps in Beirut, was established by the Israeli government on 28 September 1982, to investigate the Sabra and Shatila Massacre . The Kahan Commission was chaired by the President of the Supreme Court,...

 found the Israeli Defence Forces indirectly responsible for the massacre and that no Israeli was directly responsible for the events which occurred in the camps. The commission also asserted that Israel had indirect responsibility for the massacre since the I.D.F. held the area.

The Commission determined that the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla was carried out by a Phalangist unit, acting on its own but its entry was known to Israel and approved by Sharon. Prime Minister Begin was found responsible for not exercising greater involvement and awareness in the matter of introducing the Phalangists into the camps.

The Commission also concluded that Defense Minister Ariel Sharon bore personal responsibility "for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge" and "not taking appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed". Sharon's negligence in protecting the civilian population of Beirut, which had come under Israeli control amounted to a non-fulfillment of a duty with which the Defence Minister was charged. The commission recommended in early 1983 the removal of Sharon from his post as Defense minister and stated:
We have found...that the Minister of Defense [Ariel Sharon] bears personal responsibility. In our opinion, it is fitting that the Minister of Defense draw the appropriate personal conclusions arising out of the defects revealed with regard to the manner in which he discharged the duties of his office — and if necessary, that the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

 consider whether he should exercise his authority...to... remove [him] from office."


Sharon initially refused to resign as Defense Minister and Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 refused to fire him. After a grenade was tossed into a dispersing crowd of an Israeli Peace Now march, killing Emil Grunzweig
Emil Grunzweig
Emil Grunzweig was an Israeli teacher and peace activist affiliated with the Peace Now movement. He became an icon of the Israeli left after he was killed by a grenade thrown at a peace rally in Jerusalem in 1983.-Biography:Emil Grunzweig was born in Cluj in Transylvania, Romania...

 and injuring 10 others, a compromise was reached: Sharon agreed to forfeit the post of Defense Minister but stayed in the cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio
Minister without Portfolio
A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister that does not head a particular ministry...

.

Sharon's resignation as Defense Minister is listed as one of the important events of the Tenth Knesset.

In its 21 February 1983 issue, Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 published a story implying Sharon was directly responsible for the massacres. Sharon sued
Lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

 Time for libel
Slander and libel
Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander , and libel —is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image...

 in American and Israeli court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

s. Although the jury concluded that the Time story included false allegations, they found that Time had not acted with "actual malice" and so was not guilty of libel.

On 18 June 2001 relatives of the victims of the Sabra massacre began proceedings in Belgium to have Sharon indicted on war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s charges. Elie Hobeika
Elie Hobeika
Elie Hobeika was a Lebanese Phalangist and Lebanese Forces militia commander during the Lebanese Civil War, and former MP...

, the leader of the Phalange militia who carried out the massacres, was assassinated in January 2001, several months before he was scheduled to testify against Sharon for the trial. The Arab Press have widely speculated that Hobeika's assassination was ordered by Israel. In June 2002, a Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 Appeals Court rejected the lawsuit because the law was subsequently changed to disallow such lawsuits unless a Belgian citizen is involved.

Political downturn and recovery


After his dismissal from the Defense Ministry post, Sharon remained in successive governments as a Minister without Portfolio
Minister without Portfolio
A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister that does not head a particular ministry...

 (1983—84), Minister for Trade and Industry
Industry, Trade and Labour Minister of Israel
The Industry, Trade and Labour Minister of Israel is the political head of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour and a position in the Israeli cabinet....

 (1984—90), and Minister of Housing Construction
Housing and Construction Minister of Israel
The Ministry of Housing and Construction is a portfolio in the Israeli cabinet. The ministry was created in 1961, and until 1977 it was known as the Ministry of Housing. Construction was also previously part of the Labour and Construction ministry during the provisional government between 1948 and...

 (1990—92). In the Knesset, he was member of the Foreign Affairs and Defence committee from (1990–92) and Chairman of the committee overseeing Jewish immigration
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...

 from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. During this period he was a rival to then prime minister Yitzhak Shamir
Yitzhak Shamir
' is a former Israeli politician, the seventh Prime Minister of Israel, in 1983–84 and 1986–92.-Biography:Icchak Jeziernicky was born in Ruzhany , Russian Empire . He studied at a Hebrew High School in Białystok, Poland. As a youth he joined Betar, the Revisionist Zionist youth movement...

, but failed in various bids to replace him as chairman of Likud. Their rivalry reached a head in February 1990, when Sharon grabbed the microphone from Shamir, who was addressing the Likud central committee, and famously exclaimed: "Who's for wiping out terrorism?" The incident was widely viewed as an apparent coup
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 attempt against Shamir's leadership of the party.

In Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

's 1996–1999 government, Sharon was Minister of National Infrastructure
National Infrastructure Minister of Israel
The National Infrastructure Minister of Israel is the political head of the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure. From its establishment in 1977 until 1996, the post was known as the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure . The current minister is Uzi Landau of Yisrael Beiteinu.It succeeded...

 (1996—98), and Foreign Minister
Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel
The Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel is the political head of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The position is one of the most important in the Israeli cabinet after Prime Minister and Defense Minister...

 (1998—99). Upon the election of the Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

 Labor government, Sharon became leader of the Likud party.

Campaign for Prime Minister, 2000–01


On 28 September 2000, Sharon and an escort of over 1,000 Israeli police officers visited the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

 complex, site of the Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The structure has been refurbished many times since its initial completion in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik...

 and al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem...

, the holiest place in the world to Jews (observant Jews will not actually walk inside the enclosure but they pray at the outside wall) and the third holiest site in Islam. Sharon declared that the complex would remain under perpetual Israeli control. Palestinian commentators accused Sharon of purposely inflaming emotions with the event to provoke a violent response and obstruct success of delicate ongoing peace talks. On the following day, a large number of Palestinian demonstrators and an Israeli police contingent confronted each other at the site. According to the U.S. State Department, “Palestinians held large demonstrations and threw stones at police in the vicinity of the Western Wall. Police used rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators, killing 4 persons and injuring about 200.” According to the GOI, 14 policemen were injured.

Sharon's visit, a few months before his election as Prime Minister, came after archeologists claimed that extensive building operations at the site were destroying priceless antiquities. Sharon's supporters claim that that Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 planned the intifada months prior to Sharon's visit. They state that Palestinian security chief Jabril Rajoub provided assurances that if Sharon did not enter the mosques, no problems would arise. They also often quote statements by Palestinian Authority officials, particularly Imad Falouji, the P.A. Communications Minister, who admitted months after Sharon's visit that the violence had been planned in July, far in advance of Sharon's visit, stating the intifada "was carefully planned since the return of (Palestinian President) Yasser Arafat from Camp David
Camp David 2000 Summit
The Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David of July 2000 took place between United States President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat...

 negotiations rejecting the U.S. conditions". According to the Mitchell Report,
the government of Israel asserted that the immediate catalyst for the violence was the breakdown of the Camp David negotiations on 25 July 2000 and the “widespread appreciation in the international community of Palestinian responsibility for the impasse.” In this view, Palestinian violence was planned by the PA leadership, and was aimed at “provoking and incurring Palestinian casualties as a means of regaining the diplomatic initiative.”

The Mitchell Report found that
the Sharon visit did not cause the Al-Aqsa Intifada. But it was poorly timed and the provocative effect should have been foreseen; indeed, it was foreseen by those who urged that the visit be prohibited. More significant were the events that followed: The decision of the Israeli police on 29 September to use lethal means against the Palestinian demonstrators.

In addition, the report stated,
Accordingly, we have no basis on which to conclude that there was a deliberate plan by the PA to initiate a campaign of violence at the first opportunity; or to conclude that there was a deliberate plan by the GOI to respond with lethal force.


The Or Commission, an Israeli panel of inquiry appointed to investigate the October 2000 events,
criticised the Israeli police for being unprepared for the riots and possibly using excessive force to disperse the mobs, resulting in the deaths of 12 Arab Israeli, one Jewish and one Palestinian citizens.


Palestinians doubt the existence of popular support for Sharon's actions. Polls published in the media, as well as the 140% call-up of reservists (as opposed to the 60% in regular periods) seem to indicate that the Israeli public is quite supportive of Sharon's policies. A survey conducted by Tel Aviv University's Jaffe Center in May 2004 found that 80% of Jewish Israelis believe that the Israel Defense Forces have succeeded in militarily countering the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

Prime minister



After the collapse of Barak's government, Sharon was elected Prime Minister in February 2001.

On 20 July 2004, Sharon called on French Jews to emigrate from France to Israel immediately, in light of an increase in French anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 (94 anti-Semitic assaults reported in the first six months of 2004 compared to 47 in 2003). France has the fourth largest Jewish population (about 600,000 people), after the United States, Israel, and Russia. Sharon observed that an "unfettered anti-Semitism" reigned in France. The French government responded by describing his comments as "unacceptable", as did the French representative Jewish organization CRIF
Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France
Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France is an umbrella organization of French Jewish organizations. CRIF opposes anti-Semitism and policies that they perceive to be anti-Semitic....

, which denied Sharon's claim of intense anti-Semitism in French society. An Israeli spokesperson later claimed that Sharon had been misunderstood. France then postponed a visit by Sharon. Upon his visit, both Sharon and French President Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

 were described as showing a willingness to put the issue behind them.

Unilateral disengagement


In May 2003, Sharon endorsed the Road Map for Peace
Road map for peace
The roadmap for peace or "road map" for peace is a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict proposed by a "quartet" of international entities: the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations. The principles of the plan, originally drafted by U.S. Foreign Service...

 put forth by the United States, European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, and Russia, which opened a dialogue with Mahmud Abbas, and announced his commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state in the future.

He embarked on a course of unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, while maintaining control of its coastline and airspace. Sharon's plan has been welcomed by both the Palestinian Authority and Israel's left wing as a step towards a final peace settlement. However, it has been greeted with opposition from within his own Likud party and from other right wing Israelis, on national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

, military, and religious grounds.

Disengagement from Gaza


On 1 December 2004, Sharon dismissed five ministers from the Shinui party for voting against the government's 2005 budget. In January 2005 Sharon formed a national unity government
National unity government
A national unity government, government of national unity, or national union government is a broad coalition government consisting of all parties in the legislature, usually formed during a time of war or other national emergency.- Canada :During World War I the Conservative government of Sir...

 that included representatives of Likud, Labor, and Meimad
Meimad
Meimad is a left-wing religious Zionist political party in Israel. Founded in 1999, it is based on the ideology of the Meimad movement founded in 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital. At the national level, it was in alliance with the Labour Party, and until the 2006 elections, received 10th spot on the...

 and Degel HaTorah
Degel HaTorah
Degel HaTorah is an Ashkenazi Haredi political party in Israel. For much of its existence it has been allied to Agudat Yisrael under the name United Torah Judaism.-Ideology:...

 as "out-of-government" supporters without any seats in the government (United Torah Judaism
United Torah Judaism
United Torah Judaism is an alliance of Degel HaTorah and Agudat Israel, two small Israeli Haredi political parties in the Knesset. It was first formed in 1992.The two parties have not always agreed with each other about policy matters...

 parties usually reject having ministerial offices as a policy). Between 16 and 30 August 2005, Sharon controversially expelled 9,480 Jewish settlers from 21 settlements in Gaza and four settlements in the northern West Bank. Once it became clear that the evictions were definitely going ahead a group of conservative Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

s, led by Rabbi Yosef Dayan
Yosef Dayan
Yosef Dayan is a rabbi and the author of several books in Hebrew, Spanish and Italian. He also worked to translate modern Spanish literature into Hebrew....

, placed an ancient curse on him known as the Pulsa diNura
Pulsa diNura
Pulsa diNura or Pulsa Denoura. is a purportedly kabbalistic ceremony in which the angels of destruction are invoked to block heavenly forgiveness of the subject’s sins, causing all the curses named in the Bible to befall him resulting in his death. However, the Torah prohibits to pray that...

, calling on the Angel of Death
Angel of Death
Angel of Death may refer to:- Religion :Hebrew Bible* Destroying angel , the angel of Passover, the destroying angel of 2 Samuel 24Later Judaism* Michael , carries Adam to his grave in some texts* Gabriel - angel of death over kings...

 to intervene and kill him. After Israeli soldiers bulldozed every settlement structure except for several former synagogues, Israeli soldiers formally left Gaza on 11 September 2005 and closed the border fence at Kissufim
Kissufim
Kissufim is a kibbutz in the northwestern Negev desert in Israel. Located adjacent to the Gaza Strip, it falls under the jurisdiction of Eshkol Regional Council. It sits at an altitude of 92 metres above sea level.- History :...

. While his decision to withdraw from Gaza sparked bitter protests from members of the Likud party and the settler movement, opinion polls showed that it was a popular move among most of the Israeli electorate with more than 80% of Israelis backing the plans. On 27 September 2005, Sharon narrowly defeated a leadership challenge by a 52–48 percent vote. The move was initiated within the central committee of the governing Likud party by Sharon's main rival, Binyamin Netanyahu, who had left the cabinet to protest Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza. The measure was an attempt by Netanyahu to call an early primary in November 2005 to choose the party's leader.

Founding of Kadima



On 21 November 2005, Sharon resigned as head of Likud, and dissolved parliament to form a new centrist party called Kadima
Kadima
Kadima is a centrist and liberal political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely to support the issue of Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and was soon joined by like-minded Labor politicians...

 ("Forward"). November polls indicated that Sharon was likely to be returned to the prime ministership. On 20 December 2005, Sharon's longtime rival Benjamin Netanyahu was elected his successor as leader of Likud. Following Sharon's incapacitation, Ehud Olmert replaced Sharon as Kadima's leader, for the nearing general elections. Netanyahu, along with Labor's Amir Peretz
Amir Peretz
Amir Peretz is an Israeli politician and member of the Knesset for the Labour Party. He is a former Defense Minister of Israel and former leader of the Labour Party, having left those positions in June 2007....

, were Kadimas chief rivals in the March 2006 elections
Israel legislative election, 2006
Elections for the 17th Knesset were held in Israel on 28 March 2006. The voting resulted in a plurality of seats for the then-new Kadima party, followed by the Labour Party, and a major loss for the Likud party....

.

In the elections, which saw Israel's lowest-ever voter turnout of 64% (the number usually averages on the high 70%), Kadima, headed by Olmert, received the most Knesset seats, followed by Labor. The new governing coalition installed in May 2006 included Kadima, with Olmert as Prime Minister, Labor (including Peretz as Defense Minister), the Gil (Pensioner's) Party, the Shas religious party, and Yisrael Beiteinu
Israel Beytenu
Yisrael Beiteinu is a nationalist political party in Israel. The party describes itself as "a national movement with the clear vision to follow in the brave path of Zev Jabotinsky", the founder of Revisionist Zionism. The party traditionally represents immigrants from the former Soviet Union, but...

.

Financial scandals


During the latter part of his career Sharon was investigated for alleged involvement in a number of financial scandals, in particular, the Greek Island Affair
Greek island affair
The Greek island affair was an Israeli political scandal involving David Appel, Ariel Sharon, at the time a minister in the Likud party, and others close to Sharon...

 and irregularities of fundraising during 1999 election campaign. In the Greek Island Affair, Sharon was accused of promising (during his term as Foreign Minister) to help an Israeli businessman David Appel in his development project on a Greek island in exchange for large consultancy payments to Sharon's son Gilad. The charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence. In the 1999 election fundraising scandal, Sharon was not charged with any wrongdoing, but his son Omri
Omri Sharon
Omri Sharon is a former Israeli politician. Sharon served as a member of Knesset between 2003 and 2006. In 2006, he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to nine months in prison. He reported to Maasiyahu Prison to begin serving his sentence in 2008. He was released later the same year, having...

, a Knesset member at the time, was charged and sentenced in 2006 to nine months in prison.

To avoid a potential conflict of interest in relation to these investigations, Sharon in his role as Prime Minister was not involved in the confirmation of the appointment of a new Attorney General
Attorney General of Israel
The Attorney General of Israel stands at the head of the legal system of the executive branch and the head of the public legal establishment, in charge of protecting the rule of law and as such entrusted with protecting the public interest from possible harm by government authorities...

 Menahem Mazuz in 2005.

On 10 December 2005 Israeli police raided Martin Schlaff
Martin Schlaff
Martin Schlaff is an Austrian entrepreneur who was occupied in trade with East Germany before the German reunification. According to the German parliament's investigations, Schlaff was an unofficial employee of the Stasi...

's apartment in Jerusalem. Another suspect in the case was Robert Nowikovsky, an Austrian involved in Russian state-owned company Gazprom
Gazprom
Open Joint Stock Company Gazprom is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest Russian company. Its headquarters are in Cheryomushki District, South-Western Administrative Okrug, Moscow...

's business activities in Europe.

According to Hareetz, "The $3 million that parachuted into Gilad and Omri Sharon's bank account toward the end of 2002 was transferred there in the context of a consultancy contract for development of kolkhozes (collective farms ) in Russia. Gilad Sharon was brought into the campaign to make the wilderness bloom in Russia by Getex, a large Russian-based exporter of seeds (peas, millet, wheat ) from Eastern Europe. Getex also has ties with Israeli firms involved in exporting wheat from Ukraine, for example. The company owns farms in Eastern Europe and is considered large and prominent in its field. It has its Vienna offices in the same building as Jurimex, which was behind the $1-million guarantee to the Yisrael Beiteinu party."

On 17 December police announced that they had found evidence of a 3 million dollar bribe paid to Sharon's sons. Just 24 hours after the announcement, Sharon suffered a stroke, went to coma, and never recovered.

First stroke


On 18 December 2005, Sharon suffered a mild stroke, specifically a relatively unusual type called a paradoxical embolism
Paradoxical embolism
A paradoxical embolism is a kind of stroke or other form of arterial thrombosis caused by embolism of a thrombus of venous origin through a lateral opening in the heart, such as a patent foramen ovale....

, in which a clot from the venous circulation crosses over into the arterial circulation through a hole between the right and left atria called an atrial septal defect
Atrial septal defect
Atrial septal defect is a form of congenital heart defect that enables blood flow between the left and right atria via the interatrial septum. The interatrial septum is the tissue that divides the right and left atria...

 (or a patent foramen ovale) and goes to the brain, causing a transient speech and motor disturbance. At the time, Sharon was heading in a convoy to Havat Shikmim, his ranch in the Negev
Negev
The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The Arabs, including the native Bedouin population of the region, refer to the desert as al-Naqab. The origin of the word Neghebh is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'...

. His staff had noticed his confusion and impaired speech, and had contacted his son Gilad to ask him to speak to his father and judge for himself. Gilad then called Professor Bolek Goldman, one of Sharon's personal physicians, and described his condition. Goldman instantly understood that the Prime Minister was having a stroke. On Goldman's advice, the convoy turned around and rushed Sharon to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. On his way to the hospital, he lost consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

 but regained it shortly thereafter. In the hospital he underwent a battery of tests, including an MRI
Magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging , nuclear magnetic resonance imaging , or magnetic resonance tomography is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structures...

. During the night, an analysis of the MRI showed that Sharon was suffering from cerebral amyloid angiopathy
Congophilic angiopathy
Cerebral amyloid angiopathy , also known as congophilic angiopathy, is a form of angiopathy in which amyloid deposits form in the walls of the blood vessels of the central nervous system...

 (CAA), a disease common in the elderly that weakens the blood vessels in the brain and increases the risk of hemorrhage. Doctors continued to try to find out how the blood clot got to the brain, and an echocardiogram revealed a small hole in his heart, which doctors judged was probably a birth defect. To prevent another clot from traveling to the brain from this hole, Sharon was treated with Clexane, a blood-thinning drug.

Sharon's treatment with Clexane received criticism, as thinning of the blood could heavily increase bleeding in the case of a brain hemorrhage. Some commentators said that the dose of blood thinner given to Sharon was potentially problematic for someone who had recently suffered a stroke. On 9 January 2006, Haaretz
Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

 revealed that doctors had discovered his previously undiagnosed cerebral amyloid angiopathy
Congophilic angiopathy
Cerebral amyloid angiopathy , also known as congophilic angiopathy, is a form of angiopathy in which amyloid deposits form in the walls of the blood vessels of the central nervous system...

 (CAA) while treating his first stroke, a brain disorder which, in conjunction with anticoagulant
Anticoagulant
An anticoagulant is a substance that prevents coagulation of blood. A group of pharmaceuticals called anticoagulants can be used in vivo as a medication for thrombotic disorders. Some anticoagulants are used in medical equipment, such as test tubes, blood transfusion bags, and renal dialysis...

 medication prescribed after his first stroke, greatly increased his risk of cerebral hemorrhage. Although some insinuated that this news represented a failure on the part of Hadassah Medical Center to provide adequate care for Sharon, CAA is often very difficult to diagnose accurately, and is often discovered only after an individual suffers a brain hemorrhage. The following day, newspapers reported that Sharon's CAA had actually been diagnosed following his first stroke in December. This was confirmed by hospital director Shlomo Mor-Yosef who commented "Hadassah physicians were aware of the brain diagnosis, and no new diagnosis has been made during the current hospitalization." Mor-Yosef declined to respond to criticism of the combination of blood thinners and a CAA diagnosis, though Haaretz quoted some doctors as saying the medication led to the second stroke and that it would never have been given if doctors had known about his brain condition.

Sharon had reportedly wanted to leave the hospital the evening after his arrival but the hospital wanted him to stay another day. He was released from the hospital after two days. He continued to take two shots of Clexan daily, and a cardiac catheterization
Cardiac catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is the insertion of a catheter into a chamber or vessel of the heart. This is done for both investigational and interventional purposes...

 procedure to repair the hole in his heart was scheduled for 5 January 2006.

Second stroke


On 4 January 2006, in the evening before his catheterization, Sharon suffered a second, different and far more serious stroke at Havat Shikmim: a massive cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in his brain). His relatives noticed that he was unwell, and asked the paramedic accompanying Sharon on a regular basis to inspect him. When the paramedic inspected him, he realized that Sharon was having a stroke, and suggested that he be immediately evacuated to the nearest hospital: Soroka Medical Center
Soroka Medical Center
Soroka Medical Center is a hospital in Beersheba, Israel. It is the largest medical center in southern region of the country, and the fourth largest in Israel with approximately 1000 beds. It is owned by Clalit, the largest Health Maintenance Organization in Israel. Soroka services diverse ethnic...

 in Beersheba
Beersheba
Beersheba is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the seventh-largest city in Israel with a population of 194,300....

. However, Sharon's son Gilad contacted one of Sharon's personal physicians, Doctor Shlomo Segev, and Segev told the paramedic to not do anything, and that he was on his way. He then immediately left for Havat Shikmim from his home in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

. Half an hour later, Sharon collapsed in the bathroom, and the paramedic decided not to wait any longer and immediately evacuate him. Sharon was carried to the ambulance on the scene by his security staff, but the stretcher did not fit the ambulance, and it took twenty minutes to get him in. Just as the ambulance was leaving, Doctor Segev arrived at the scene and climbed into the ambulance. Despite earlier instructions that in case of an emergency, Sharon was to be rushed to Soroka Medical Center, the ambulance instead headed for Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, almost an hours' drive away.

Ten minutes into the journey, a Shin Bet officer contacted the ambulance and suggested airlifting Sharon to hospital by helicopter. Doctor Segev and Gilad claimed it was unnecessary, and Segev and the accompanying paramedic feared that carrying him to helicopter would have worsened his condition.

On Harel Interchange in Mevaseret Zion
Mevaseret Zion
Mevaseret Zion is a suburb of Jerusalem, Israel. Mevaseret Zion is composed of two distinct townships, Maoz Zion and Mevaseret Yerushalayim—under the jurisdiction of one local council. The newer neighborhoods of Mevaseret Zion were not part of either settlement.Mevaseret Zion is located on a...

, ten minutes away from the hospital, Sharon's condition suddenly began to deteriorate. Doctor Segev called Chaim Lotan, chief of cardiology at Hadassah, and reported that Sharon had vomited and seemed withdrawn. Sharon reportedly became apathetic.

Following his arrival at the hospital, Sharon underwent a complex operation lasting around seven hours to drain the blood from his skull and seal off the blood vessels in his brain. Following the operation, hospital director Shlomo Mor-Yosef reported Sharon's bleeding had stopped, his brain was functioning without artificial support, and that he was receiving medication to prevent further bleeding. Sharon was placed in the neurological intensive care unit
Intensive Care Unit
thumb|220px|ICU roomAn intensive-care unit , critical-care unit , intensive-therapy unit/intensive-treatment unit is a specialized department in a hospital that provides intensive-care medicine...

, and was put on a ventilator. Sharon subsequently underwent a 14-hour long operation. Some reports suggested that he was suffering from paralysis
Paralysis
Paralysis is loss of muscle function for one or more muscles. Paralysis can be accompanied by a loss of feeling in the affected area if there is sensory damage as well as motor. A study conducted by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, suggests that about 1 in 50 people have been diagnosed...

 in his lower body, while others said he was still fighting for his life.

Sharon was kept heavily sedated in an induced coma
Induced coma
A barbiturate-induced coma, or barb coma, is a temporary coma brought on by a controlled dose of a barbiturate drug, usually pentobarbital or thiopental...

 to reduce pressure on his brain and keep his blood pressure down, in order to allow his brain to recover from the trauma of the stroke and subsequent surgery.

On the night of Sharon's stroke, in the wake of his serious illness and following consultations between Government Secretary Israel Maimon and Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz
Menachem Mazuz
Menachem Mazuz is an Israeli jurist, who served as the Israeli Attorney General in the years 2004-2010. Mazuz was born in Djerba, Tunisia, the fourth in a family of nine children of the rabbi of one of the island's Jewish communities...

, Sharon was declared "temporarily incapable of discharging his powers." As a result, Sharon's deputy, Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

, the Deputy Prime Minister, was officially confirmed as the Acting Prime Minister of Israel. Olmert and the Cabinet announced that the legislative elections
Israel legislative election, 2006
Elections for the 17th Knesset were held in Israel on 28 March 2006. The voting resulted in a plurality of seats for the then-new Kadima party, followed by the Labour Party, and a major loss for the Likud party....

 would take place on 28 March as scheduled.

On Friday, 6 January, after doctors reviewed the results of a brain scan, Sharon underwent a five-hour operation to halt bleeding in his brain and relieve pressure that had built up on his skull. Following the operation, Sharon was returned to hospital's neurological intensive care unit.

On 15 January, Sharon underwent a tracheotomy
Tracheotomy
Among the oldest described surgical procedures, tracheotomy consists of making an incision on the anterior aspect of the neck and opening a direct airway through an incision in the trachea...

 to help wean him off a ventilator, and three days later, a breathing tube
Breathing tube
A breathing tube is a device or tool that can serve as a conduit for breathing. Various types of breathing tubes are available for different specific applications.Breathing tube may also refer to, or be part of:-Anatomy:...

 had to be replaced due to technical problems. On 1 February, a feeding tube
Feeding tube
A feeding tube is a medical device used to provide nutrition to patients who cannot obtain nutrition by swallowing. The state of being fed by a feeding tube is called gavage, enteral feeding or tube feeding...

 was inserted into his stomach, indicating that doctors were preparing him for long-term care.

On 11 February 2006, doctors performed emergency surgery to remove 50 cm of Sharon's large intestine
Large intestine
The large intestine is the third-to-last part of the digestive system — — in vertebrate animals. Its function is to absorb water from the remaining indigestible food matter, and then to pass useless waste material from the body...

 that had become necrotic
Necrosis
Necrosis is the premature death of cells in living tissue. Necrosis is caused by factors external to the cell or tissue, such as infection, toxins, or trauma. This is in contrast to apoptosis, which is a naturally occurring cause of cellular death...

, probably due a blood clot and the subsequent lack of blood flow. On 22 February, he underwent an additional procedure to drain excess fluid from his stomach, discovered during a CT scan
Computed tomography
X-ray computed tomography or Computer tomography , is a medical imaging method employing tomography created by computer processing...

.

Replacement by Ehud Olmert


According to Israeli law, an Acting Prime Minister can remain in office 100 days after the Prime Minister has become incapacitated. After 100 days, the Israeli President must appoint a new Prime Minister. At the time of his stroke, Sharon enjoyed considerable support from the general public in Israel. The new centrist
Centrism
In politics, centrism is the ideal or the practice of promoting policies that lie different from the standard political left and political right. Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of left-right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between...

 political party that he founded, Kadima
Kadima
Kadima is a centrist and liberal political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely to support the issue of Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and was soon joined by like-minded Labor politicians...

, won the largest number of seats in the Knesset elections held on 28 March 2006. (Since Sharon was unable to sign a nomination form, he was not a candidate and therefore ceased to be a Knesset member.)

On 6 April, President of Israel Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav is an Israeli politician. He served as the eighth President of Israel, a leading Likud member of the Israeli Knesset, and a Cabinet Minister in its government....

 formally asked Ehud Olmert to form a government, making him Prime Minister-Designate. Olmert had an initial period of 28 days to form a governing coalition
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

, with a possible two-week extension. On 11 April 2006, the Israeli Cabinet deemed that Sharon was incapacitated. Although Sharon's replacement was to be named within 100 days of his becoming incapacitated, the replacement deadline was extended due to the Jewish festival of Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

. A provision was made that, should Sharon's condition improve between 11 and 14 April, the declaration would not take effect. Therefore, the official declaration took effect on 14 April, formally ending Sharon's term as Prime Minister and making Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

 the country's new Prime Minister.

Subsequent care


On 28 May 2006, Sharon was transferred from Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital to a long-term care unit in Sheba Medical Center
Sheba Medical Center
The Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer , also Tel HaShomer Hospital, is the largest hospital in Israel.-Overview:The hospital was named after Chaim Sheba, the founding director. It was established in 1948 as the country's first military hospital to treat casualties of Israel's War of...

, a large civilian and military hospital in Tel HaShomer
Tel HaShomer
Tel HaShomer is a district in Gush Dan in central Israel. It is located east of Ramat Gan, and is bordered to the north by Kiryat Ono, to the east by Yehud, and to the south by Or Yehuda...

 near Ramat Gan. Haaretz reported that this move was an indication that Sharon's doctors did not expect him to emerge from his coma in the foreseeable future. Dr. Yuli Krieger, Deputy Head of the Levinstein House, another long-term care facility, told Israel Radio that the chances of waking up after such a lengthy coma were small. "Every day that passes after this kind of event with the patient still unconscious the chances that he will gain consciousness get smaller".

On 23 July 2006, a hospital spokesman announced that Sharon's condition was deteriorating, with a change in his brain tissue, his kidney function worsening, and fluid accumulating in his body. Doctors subsequently performed tests to determine a course of treatment. A bacterial infection was discovered in Sharon's blood. On 26 July 2006, doctors moved him to the intensive care unit
Intensive Care Unit
thumb|220px|ICU roomAn intensive-care unit , critical-care unit , intensive-therapy unit/intensive-treatment unit is a specialized department in a hospital that provides intensive-care medicine...

, where he underwent hemofiltration
Hemofiltration
In medicine, hemofiltration, also haemofiltration, is a renal replacement therapy similar to hemodialysis which is used almost exclusively in the intensive care setting...

. Antibiotics were administered intravenously into his blood to treat the infection. On 14 August 2006, doctors reported that Sharon's condition had worsened significantly and that he was suffering from pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

 in both lungs. On 29 August 2006, doctors reported that he had been successfully treated for his pneumonia and moved out of intensive care back to the long-term care unit.

On 3 November 2006, Sharon was admitted to intensive care after contracting a heart infection. He was moved out of the intensive care unit on 6 November 2006. Doctors stated that "his heart function has improved after being treated for an infection and his overall condition has stabilised".

Sharon remained in the long-term care center following 6 November 2006. Medical experts indicated that Sharon's cognitive abilities were destroyed by the stroke, and that he is in a persistent vegetative state
Persistent vegetative state
A persistent vegetative state is a disorder of consciousness in which patients with severe brain damage are in a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness. It is a diagnosis of some uncertainty in that it deals with a syndrome. After four weeks in a vegetative state , the patient is...

 with slim chances of regaining consciousness.

On 13 April 2007, it was reported that Sharon's condition had slightly improved and that according to his son, Omri
Omri Sharon
Omri Sharon is a former Israeli politician. Sharon served as a member of Knesset between 2003 and 2006. In 2006, he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to nine months in prison. He reported to Maasiyahu Prison to begin serving his sentence in 2008. He was released later the same year, having...

, he was marginally responsive. On 27 October 2009, his doctor reported that he was still comatose but in a stable condition.

On 21 October 2010 artist Noam Braslavsky
Noam Braslavsky
Noam Braslavsky is an Israeli artist and curator. Braslavsky lives and works in Berlin.-Life:In the early 1980s Braslavsky studied at the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem, subsequently studying at the Beit Zvi Film Academy in Ramat Gan and completing his Master of Fine Arts at the Multimedia...

 unveiled a life-sized sculpture of Sharon in a hospital bed with an IV drip at the Kishon Gallery in Tel Aviv. The exhibition caused some controversy, with Knesset member Yoel Hasson
Yoel Hasson
Yoel Hasson is an Israeli politician and a member of the Knesset for Kadima.-Biography:Born in Tel Aviv, Hasson studied for a BA in government and public policy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. He joined the Betar movement, and was head of the national leadership of its youth movement...

 describing the work as "sickening voyeurism" and saying, "I think it's a cheap way for the artist to get attention for his exhibition."

On 12 November 2010 Ariel Sharon was moved from the long-term care facility to his home in Havat Shikmim for a 48-hour period, the first of five planned "visits" home. The visit was to ensure that the medical equipment installed there was working properly. The ultimate plan is to return him home permanently, once it is established that he has the appropriate medical facilities and care, after which he will receive round-the-clock treatment from medical caregivers.

In October 2011, Sharon's son Gilad claimed that he was responsive and alluded that he was sometimes awake. In a telephone interview, Gilad claimed that when his father is awake, he "looks out with a penetrating stare" and moves his fingers when asked. Gilad also claimed that Sharon had put on weight.

Recognition


In 2005, he was voted the 8th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet
Ynet
Ynet is the most popular Israeli news and general content website. It is owned by the same conglomerate that operates Yediot Ahronot, the country's secondleading daily newspaper...

 to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis.

Further reading

  • Ben Shaul, Moshe (editor); Generals of Israel, Tel-Aviv: Hadar Publishing House, Ltd., 1968.
  • Uri Dan; Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait, Palgrave Macmillan, October 2006, 320 pages. ISBN 1-4039-7790-9.
  • Ariel Sharon, with David Chanoff; Warrior: The Autobiography of Ariel Sharon, Simon & Shuster, 2001, ISBN 0-671-60555-0.
  • Gilad Sharon, (translated by Mitch Ginsburg); Sharon: The Life of a Leader, HarperCollins Publishers, 2011, ISBN 978-0-06-172150-2.
  • Nir Hefez, Gadi Bloom, (translated by Mitch Ginsburg); Ariel Sharon: A Life, Random House, October 2006, 512 pages, ISBN 1-4000-6587-9.
  • Freddy Eytan, (translated by Robert Davies); Ariel Sharon — a Life in Times of Turmoil, translation of Sharon: le bra de fer, Studio 8 Books and Music, 2006, ISBN 1552070921.
  • Abraham Rabinovich; The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East, 2005, ISBN 978-0805211245.
  • Ariel Sharon, official biography, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

External links



|-