Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon remains in a coma at a Jerusalem hospital, following last month’s massive stroke. But he was said to be out of immediate danger after what the hospital director called a “dramatic event” on Saturday morning. The 77-year-old premier underwent emergency surgery to remove parts of a damaged intestine, which doctors said were putting his life in danger.
One young Israeli told reporters: “We believe, the Jewish people, that everything is in God’s hands so all we can do is pray for him.” Another Israeli said: “Since he has been in a coma, I think we’ve got such a soft landing of the whole news and maybe it is better to be gone than to lay like a vegetable the rest of your life.” In Ramallah in the West Bank, one Palestinian man said: “He is a human being, he is already off the political stage right now and it is (up to) God will.” Another remarked: “If Sharon (is) healthy or wakes up again it will make no difference (to) Palestinian people, believe me. That is my belief. It is the same.” Sharon’s failure to wake up after being taken off sedatives last month led to speculation that he had suffered severe brain damage. Interim prime minister Ehud Olmert will lead the newly-formed centrist party Kadima in the general election on March 28.