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Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon Dies at 85 After Eight-Year Coma

- Common Dreams staff

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, known for his brutal tactics against Palestine during the course of his career as a military and political leader, died Saturday after 8 years in a coma.Former Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon. Photo by Reuters

Sharon, who had suffered a stroke at the age of 78 during the 2006 Israeli elections campaign, had multiple organ failures over the new year, his family said, leading ultimately to his death on Saturday.

Haaretz reports:

Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died Saturday after a significant deterioration in his medical condition over the past two weeks. Sharon, who was 85, was comatose for the past eight years.

The Guardian reports:

...For many Israelis he will be mourned as a giant figure who played a key role in shaping Israel both as a soldier and a statesman. His passing severs the last link to the iconic generation which fought in the 1948 war that followed the declaration of the state. [...]

Among Palestinians and leftwing Israelis, he will be remembered as a powerful and reviled champion of Israel's colonial settlement project, and the political force behind the construction of the vast concrete and steel separation barrier that snakes through the West Bank. Many will not forgive his role in the killing of hundreds of Palestinians in refugee camps in Beirut in the 1980s.

Read more from the Guardian and Haaretz here and here.

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