Ariel Sharon
  • Ariel Sharon

  • Date of birth: February 27, 1928
  • Died: January 11, 2014
  • Born: in Kfar Malal, Palestinian Territory, Occupied.

  • Description: Ariel Sharon is an Israeli general and statesman, former Israeli Prime Minister. Sharon served as Prime Minister from March 2001 until April 2006, though he was unable to carry out his duties after suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006, when he fell into a coma and entered a persistent vegetative state.

    During his career, Sharon was a controversial figure among many factions, both inside and outside Israel. The Israeli government established the Kahan Commission to investigate Sharon's involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacre, and subsequently found he bore "indirect responsibility", specifically "for having disregarded the prospect of acts of vengeance and bloodshed by the Phalangists against the population of the refugee camps and for having failed to take this danger into account. Sharon resigned from the Defence Ministry, but remained in the cabinet as minister without portfolio.

    During his tenure as Prime Minister, Sharon's policies caused a rift within the Likud Party, and he ultimately left Likud to form a new party called Kadima. He became the first Prime Minister of Israel who did not belong to either Labor or Likud (the two parties that have traditionally dominated Israeli politics). The new party created by Sharon, with Ehud Olmert having stepped in as its leader after Sharon fell ill in the midst of election season, won the most Knesset seats in the 2006 elections, and became the senior coalition partner in the Israeli government. Following the rise in 2009 of Israel's second Netanyahu government, Kadima has now become the senior member of the loyal opposition in the Knesset.

    Prime Minister Sharon was mainly responsible, in 2004, for the unilateral withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of Jewish settlements there. These measures were welcomed in many political and diplomatic circles around the world, but the Israeli right wing responded with anger and perplexity.

    In his military career he attained the rank of Major-General.