Hospital: Ex-Israeli PM Ariel Sharon in 'grave condition'


This file photo shows former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at his office in Jerusalem on Jan. 4, 2006. Admired by some and reviled by others, Sharon's health is failing eight years after he suffered a massive stroke.



The health of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon worsened on Thursday, hospital officials said, describing him as being in "grave condition."

"Over the past hours, there has been a worsening of the condition of former prime minister Ariel Sharon. His condition is described as extremely critical and his family is at his side all the time," said a statement from Sheba hospital near Tel Aviv where he is being treated.

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Sharon, 85, has been in a coma since suffering a massive stroke in 2006.

But his condition took a turn for the worse on Jan. 1 when he suffered serious kidney problems after surgery.

Doctors said Sharon's vital organs were failing.

Hospital sources quoted by army radio said the former premier only had "a few days or even hours" left.

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Sharon's family was by his bedside last week, and one of his sons, Omri, told The Jerusalem Post, "We have hope, we always have hope."

"We remember his contributions, the sacrifices he made to ensure the survival and the well-being of Israel," said US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was visiting the region to work on peace talks.

AFP contributed to this report.