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Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon dies at 85

Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon dies at 85

PanARMENIAN.Net - Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died aged 85 after spending eight years in a coma following a stroke, according to BBC News.

He was a giant of Israel's military and political scene, but courted controversy throughout his long career.

The head of the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv said Sharon had died on Saturday, Jan 11 afternoon of heart failure.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he was a great warrior but a senior Palestinian said his path was war and aggression.

Sharon fought in Israel's war of independence in 1948, and from that point until he slipped into a coma in 2006 it seemed there was hardly a moment of national drama in which he did not play a role, BBC says.

The 85-year-old became PM in 2001 and in 2005 completed a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, barely a year before he suffered a massive stroke.

His health had declined for the past week and a half, Sheba Medical Centre Director Professor Shlomo Noy told reporters.

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