Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon dies at 85

2014-01-11 15:01

Tel Aviv – Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has died , after eight years in a coma, Israeli media reported today. He was 85.

Sharon, one of the country’s most prominent military and political leaders for decades, served as prime minister between 2001 and 2006.

He suffered a massive stroke while campaigning for re-election on January 4 2006, in a race he had been tipped to win. Sharon initiated Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

He broke away from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nationalist Likud party to form the centrist Kadima party in the months before he suffered the stroke.

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