The Israeli Prime Minister Arriel Sharon has been in an operating theatre in Jerusalem since the early hours of this morning after suffering what doctors describe as a massive brain haemorrhage.
Its thought to have been caused by a blood clot travelling from his heart. He has been treated with anti-coagulants to prevent another attack.
Doctors are quoted as saying Sharon’s chances of recovery are very slim. The Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has taken over Sharon’s responsibilities. Ariel Sharon’s illness also risks having a detrimental effect on his new party, Kadima.
Opinion polls have so far given Kadima a big lead over traditional rivals like Likud in the upcoming legislative elections on the 25th of January. The party relies primarily on the force of Sharon’s character and reputation.
It could suffer badly if he is not there to drive the agenda forward.