Ariel Sharon in 'critical condition': Former Israeli Prime Minister's health deteriorates further as blood infection detected

The 85-year-old is experiencing multi-organ failure and has a blood infection, the hospital treating him has confirmed

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The Independent Online

The health of the former Israeli Prime Minister Arial Sharon is deteriorating further, in a situation that hospital staff said does not “give good signs for the future”.

The director of the hospital treating the 85-year-old has confirmed that Mr Sharon’s key organs continued to decline on Friday, but he is not in pain.

He is currently surrounded by his family who were called to his bedside yesterday.

Dr Zeev Rotstein, the director of Tel Hashomer hospital where he has been treated for the past eight years, said Mr Sharon’s life remains in dangers and that “there is a slow and gradual deterioration” in his condition, including multi-organ failure. 

Test results also show that Mr Sharon also has a blood infection.


Mr Sharon has been in a coma for eight years after he suffered an incapacitating stroke at the peak of his career.

After initially spending months in a Jerusalem hospital, Sharon was transferred to the long-term care facility at Tel Hashomel. He was taken home briefly at one point but was returned several days later to the hospital, where he has been in a persistent vegetative state since.

“Looking at the trend of deterioration, it doesn't give us good signs for the future,” Dr Rotstein said, adding that Mr Sharon: “is fighting like a real fighter, as he did all his life.”

During his tenure as one of Israel’s most famous former generals, Mr Sharon was known for bold his tactics and an occasional refusal to obey orders.

As a politician, he earned the nickname “the bulldozer” as he was seen as being contemptuous of critics while capable of getting things done.

Elected as prime minister in 2001, by mid-2005 he had directed a unilateral withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip, which ended a 38-year-long military control of the territory.

He later bolted from his hard-line Likud Party and established the centrist Kadima Party.

It seemed he was on his way to an easy re-election when he suffered the stroke in January 2006.