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Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Dies After Eight Years In Coma

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Remembering the brave leader of Israel

Former prime minister and ex-general Ariel Sharon has died after eight years in a coma.

The 85-year-old Sharon had been in a coma at the Sheba Medical Center after suffering a stroke in 2006.

The prominent ex-general was respected and honored by Israelis for his military prowess and patriotism.

Eight years after the stroke left him in a vegetative state, the brave army leader died.

Mr. Sharon was also Israel's controversial 11th prime minister. He was named "The Bulldozer" early in his career because of his bravery and determination.

Sharon As Brave Soldier

Mr. Sharon was known for his military tactics and his leadership on Israel's victory over Egypt in the 1973 October War amid violating a commander's order.

He was Israel's defense minister in 1982. During the war against the Palestine Liberation Organization, Mr. Sharon sent the Israeli army all the way to Beirut amid being slammed by his cabinet.

In 2001, Sharon became prime minister.

Israel Pays Tribute To Mr. Sharon

A state funeral took place on Monday before a military burial ceremony at his ranch.

Israeli and global leaders have paid tribute to Mr Sharon.

Mr Sharon's body was brought to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament on Sunday morning and his coffin was then placed on a podium in the plaza outside the building.

Ministers held a minute's silence at Sunday's cabinet meeting to remember their former leader.

Tens of thousands of people accompanied the coffin on his final journey.

Ariel Sharon photo
Ariel_Sharon
Photo: Jim_Wallace Smithsonian_Institution

US Saddened By Ariel Sharon's Death

In a press statement in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sharon's journey was Israel's journey.

"The dream of Israel was the cause of his life, and he risked it all to live that dream." - Secretary Kerry

Remembering The Mighty Sharon

Secretary Kerry recalled about Mr. Sharon in the papers when he was a young lawyer in Boston. Secretary Kerry marvelled at Mr. Sharon's commitment to cause and country.

Secretary Kerry said Mr. Sharon was prepared to make tough decisions because he knew that his responsibility to his people was both to ensure their security and to give every chance to the hope that they could live in peace.

He added that Mr. Sharon was always crystal clear about where he stood and determined to ensure the security and survival of the Jewish State.

In his final years as Prime Minister, Secretary Kerry said Mr. Sharon surprised many in his pursuit of peace.

"Today, we all recognize, as he did, that Israel must be strong to make peace, and that peace will also make Israel stronger." - Secretary Kerry

The US honors Arik's legacy and those of Israel's founding generation by working to achieve that goal, he added.

"Arik is finally at rest, and all of us in the United States pray along with his sons, Gilad and Omri, the Sharon family, and all the people of Israel." - Secretary Kerry

In his final statement, Secretary Kerry highlighted that the US shares the loss and honors Ariel Sharon's memory.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.

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