JERUSALEM (CNN) — The medical condition of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since 2006, has worsened, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The change came about “in the last few days,” according to Sheba Medical Center spokeswoman Amir Maron.
The 85-year-old war veteran and former politician’s life is in danger as he battles serious kidney problems, Israeli media — including state radio — reported Wednesday, citing “sources.”
His family was planning to meet at the west Israeli hospital this Saturday, January 4, to mark the eighth anniversary of his hospitalization, reported Israel’s Channel 10 TV, a CNN affiliate.
Sharon was prime minister of Israel from 2001 until he suffered a stroke in 2006. He has been in a coma since that time.
Prior to rising to this role, he made a name for himself as one of Israel’s finest military commanders, having been involved with nearly every major conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Sharon served in a number of cabinet positions before being elected prime minister.
He was known as a hawk when he assumed office, but once there he softened his hardline stances.
In 2001, Sharon and PLO leader Yasser Arafat approved a timeline for bringing a halt to Israeli-Palestinian violence and resuming peace talks, but his own party undermined him by voting for a resolution to never allow the creation of a Palestinian state.
Sharon later participated in talks with regional and world powers to discuss a “road map” for Middle East peace.
The former prime minister’s health has fluctuated during the time he’s been in the coma. In January of 2013, doctors said testing on Sharon indicated some brain activity when he was shown photos of his home and heard his son’s voice.
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