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Ariel Sharon, former Israel military commander and prime minister, has died at 85

Ariel Sharon, the Israeli general and statesman who parlayed his legendary military achievements into a long, tumultuous political career that culminated in his 2001 election as prime minister, has died. He was 85.

The charismatic and controversial leader was incapacitated by a massive stroke in January 2006. His term as prime minister officially ended several months later as he remained in a comatose state.

In 2010 his family moved him to his ranch in the Negev desert, but he was readmitted to a hospital last September, when he underwent abdominal surgery. In recent days he went into a sharp decline as his organs deteriorated.

Sharon’s rise to prominence began in the 1950s when he led Israeli commandos on ruthless raids. He fought in nearly all of his nation’s major wars, triumphing in one of the most dramatic battles of the 1967 Mideast war, but also leading the 1982 invasion of Lebanon that sparked widespread protests.

He spearheaded the Jewish resettlement of Palestinian territories but later oversaw Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Complete obituary at


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