The condition of Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has improved after he suffered a minor stroke. His doctor says he will remain overnight at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital for observation and tests, but he should be released shortly. Aides say the 77-year old felt unwell after finishing a series of meetings at his Jerusalem office and was admitted to hospital where he underwent a brain scan.
He briefly lost consciousness on the way but his condition now is not life-threatening, according to doctors. Medical sources say he is conscious, talking and making jokes. Sharon has occasionally looked drawn during the months of struggling to push through his controversial plans to withdraw settlers from the Gaza Strip, but there have been no major health scares.
The veteran politician, who has led Israel since 2001, recently announced he was leaving the right-wing Likud party he helped found in the face of a far-right rebellion. He has drawn supporters from both the right and the left to join his new centrist party, Kadima after declaring he wanted to pursue peacemaking with the Palestinians. Polls suggest Kadima will be the biggest party in new elections due to take place in March.