Israel’s former prime minister Ariel Sharon, who has been comatose for nearly five years, has been moved home from hospital.
The 82-year old suffered a stroke in January 2006, leaving him in what medical staff describe as a limbo state.
His medical team will continue round-the-clock treatment at his home at Sycamore Farm in the Negev desert, where as premier he would gather with his advisers to plan Israel’s strategies.
The director of the hospital near Tel Aviv where Sharon had been receiving care has played down suggestions of a significant recovery.
His sons were said to have refused to consider stopping his life support machine, believing his condition was not irretrievable.
Ariel Sharon became prime minister in 2001. His ability to build bridges amid the fractious Israeli political scene left a lasting impact.
Nicknamed the “Bulldozer”, his previous record as a military leader won him admiration among Israelis, but he was despised by many Palestinians.
He began the construction of the security barrier around the West Bank, but also oversaw the surprise Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
As defence minister in 1982, he masterminded the invasion of Lebanon. But he was forced to resign after Christian militiamen, allied to Israel, massacred hundreds of Palestinian refugees in two camps under Israeli control.