Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been rushed to hospital in Jerusalem for surgery after suffering what is believed to be a brain hemorrhage. The 77-year-old is in a critical condition and may not recover, according to a senior political source. The hospital spokesman says there is massive internal bleeding.
Political authority has been handed over to the Deputy Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. Sharon was taken ill at his ranch in Negev. He had been scheduled to undergo a minor operation today to repair a tiny hole in his heart, thought to have contributed to a mild stroke which kept him in hospital for several days in mid-December.