ARIEL SHARON Biography - Military related figures


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Name: Ariel Sharon                                                                   
Born: 27 February 1928 Kfar Malal, British Mandate of Palestine                     
Ariel Sharon (born Ariel Scheinermann on February 27, 1928) is a                     
former Israeli Prime Minister and military leader whose political career was         
ended by a massive stroke he suffered in early 2006.                                 
Sharon served as Prime Minister from March 2001 until April 2006, though the         
powers of his office were exercised by acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert             
following Sharon's stroke on January 4, 2006. At that time, Sharon fell into a       
coma; as of February 2008, he is in a persistent vegetative state.                   
During his lengthy career, Sharon was a highly controversial figure among many       
factions, both inside and outside Israel. Some of his critics have sought to         
prosecute him as a war criminal for alleged crimes related to the Sabra and         
Shatila massacre during the 1982 Lebanon War. The Kahan Commission held him         
personally responsible for the massacre. Sharon lost his post as Defense             
Minister as a result, but remained in the cabinet as minister without portfolio.     
Sharon continued as a leading figure in the Likud Party, and held various senior     
cabinet and party posts, ultimately becoming party leader in 1999 and Prime         
Minister in 2001.                                                                   
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 Olmert having stepped in as its leader, won       
the most Knesset seats in the 2006 elections, and is now the senior coalition       
partner in the Israeli government.