Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, died this morning in a hospital near Tel Aviv at the age of 85, after eight years in a coma. The office of the head of the Israeli government, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced the news.
The health of Sharon, a strong right.wing Israeli man, had deteriorated in the last hours. On January 4, 2006, Sharon suffered a stroke, buts his health started to decline since early this year.
Thousands of Palestinians rejoiced at the news, saying that “Sharon was a criminal, responsible for the murder of (Yasser) Arafat.” “Sharon was expected to appear before the International Criminal Court (ICC ) as a war criminal ,” said the leader of Fatah, Jibril Rabub.
The Islamic movement Hamas, in power in Gaza, called “the disappearance of a criminal with hands covered in Palestinian blood” a historic moment.
“Arik” Sharon will be remembered as the architect of the invasion of Lebanon when he was defense minister in 1982. As the head of the government in 2005, he evacuated troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip.