JERUSALEM (AP) — The medical condition of the comatose former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sharply deteriorated Wednesday, the hospital treating him said.
Sharon, 85, has been in a coma since 2006 when a devastating stroke incapacitated him at the height of his political power. His family has said that he sometimes opens his eyes and moves his fingers.
Amir Marom, a spokesman for Tel Hashomer hospital, where Sharon has been treated for most of the past eight years, said Wednesday that Sharon's medical condition has "deteriorated in the past few days." He refused to elaborate. Contacted by The Associated Press, Sharon's son, Omri, refused to comment.
Israeli media reported that Sharon was suffering from kidney problems and that his family was at the hospital. In September, Sharon underwent surgery to insert a new feeding tube.
Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic and controversial figures. As one of Israel's most famous generals, Sharon was known for bold tactics and an occasional refusal to obey orders. As a politician he became known as "the bulldozer," a man contemptuous of his critics while also capable of getting things done. A prominent hard-line voice over the decades, he was elected prime minister in 2001.