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Israel mourns former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

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Israel mourns former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon


Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died aged 85. He had been in a coma for eight years, following a stroke in 2006.

On Saturday afternoon, an ambulance transporting Sharon’s body was driven away from the Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv, where he had been cared for.

His vital organs started to fail a week before his death. Doctors said that in the final days of his life he struggled “with surprising strength and determination”.

Sharon’s family was at his bedside when he died.

Part of military and political history for decades, Sharon was a divisive figure both within Israel and throughout the world.

As an ex-political leader, he will be given a state funeral at which former and current world leaders are expected. Prior to this, his body will lie in state at the Knesset.

Sharon’s state funeral will be followed by a more private ceremony at the Negev family ranch, which is where his second wife Lily is buried.

Tributes and reactions to his death have been pouring in from all over the world.

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