Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died at age 85 after spending eight years in a coma following a stroke. He died this afternoon of heart failure at Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv.
Sharon spent half century as a military and political leader in Israel and was a giant of Israel’s military and political scene. But his career was marked with victories and controversies.
The Israeli statesman was a national war hero to many Israelis for his leadership, both in uniform or as a civilian, during every Israeli war. Many in the Arab world called Sharon “the Butcher of Beirut” after he oversaw Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon while serving as defense minister.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he was a great warrior but a senior Palestinian said his path was war and aggression. The prime minister’s spokesman said on Twitter:
“His memory will live forever in the nation’s heart.”
May his soul rest in peace, Amen.