Former Israeli prime minister dies after 8 years in coma

Ina Ronquillo

Former Israeli prime minister dies after 8 years in coma

CREATED Jan. 11, 2014

JERUSALEM (AP) - The son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says his father "went when he decided to go." The 85-year-old Sharon died today after spending the last eight years of his life in a coma following a stroke.
   
The hospital that had been treating him says Sharon had had "ups and downs" during his years in a condition defined as "minimal consciousness."
   
The hospital said last week that Sharon's health was declining as he began to suffer failure of vital organs including his kidneys.
   
The hard-charging Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic figures.
   
After a distinguished, and controversial, military career, he went into politics and held a number of Cabinet posts.
   
He was elected prime minister in 2001, and despite his hardline views, led Israel's historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

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