zaterdag 11 januari 2014

Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon passes away at 85

Former prime minister Ariel Sharon, in 2004

Ariel Sharon, Israel’s eleventh prime minister, passed away on Saturday afternoon at the age of 85.

“That’s it. He’s gone. He went when he decided to go,” Sharon’s son Gilad announced at Sheba Medical Center, at Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv.

“Ariel Sharon has passed away,” said Professor Shlomo Noy, spokesman for the hospital. ”He was considered to be in a state of minimal consciousness, with ups and downs in his medical condition, and minimal non-verbal communication.” On Saturday afternoon, Noy said, Sharon’s heart stopped.

Sharon’s body will be placed at the Knesset plaza on Sunday for the public to pay their last respects, and there will be a formal mourning ceremony at the Knesset on Monday morning.

His final journey will begin from the Knesset later Monday and his funeral — which will be both a state and a military ceremony, given Sharon’s twin military and political careers — is scheduled for Monday afternoon at his Shikmim Farm in the Negev, where he will be laid to rest alongside his wife Lily.

Gilad Sharon returned to the family farm shortly after announcing his father’s passing. Gilad, his wife and family went to the hill facing the farm where Sharon is to be buried. Second son Omri later joined the mourners at the farm. Other members of Sharon’s family and closest friends gathered at the farm late Saturday to plan the funeral arrangements, in coordination with the relevant government authorities.

Read more: timesofisrael

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