As the Israeli Prime Minister recovers in hospital after suffering a mild stroke, questions are raised in the media about how long he can dominate Israeli politics.
Ariel Sharon, who is 77, is said to be improving, and doctors say he suffered no damage from the stroke.
The health scare, which comes only months before the former general is due to lead his new Kadima party into parliamentary elections, has sparked public debate.
One woman in Jerusalem said: “It is quite clear that the two leaders are very old, of the party of Kadima -one is 82 and one 78 – and this is something to consider because the Prime Minister of Israel is a very intense position”.
One man said: “I am against him, but as a commanding figure in public life there is nobody who is close to him. There is nobody who is a strong public figure except him”.
The Prime Minister’s aides are insisting that Sharon is not in danger and there is no need to transfer – even temporarily – his powers to somebody else.