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Israel ex-PM Ariel Sharon critically ill

Sharon, who has been in an artificial coma since suffering from a severe stroke in 2006, was said to be deteriorating in the last few days.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s health deteriorated further on Thursday, with his “vital organs” failing, the hospital where he has been housed in a comatose state for eight years said.

“In the last few days, we have seen a gradual decline in the functioning of Ariel Sharon’s vital organs, which are essential for his survival,” Tel Hashomer hospital director Zeev Rotstein told Israeli public radio.

Rotstein said on Thursday, “We are defining his condition as critical, and there is definitely a threat to his life. The feeling of everyone… is that this decline is very serious.”

On Wednesday, it was reported that Sharon was suffering from “serious kidney problems.”

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A year ago, specialists from Israel and the United States said that Sharon’s MRI scans showed “significant brain activity,” but he has been in a coma since suffering from a severe stroke in January 2006.

Sharon’s family is by his bedside, and one of his sons, Omri, told The Jerusalem Post, “We have hope, we always have hope.”