Ex-Israeli PM Arial Sharon dies at 85

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2014-1-12 16:42:00

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Sharon 'last of Middle East strongmen'

The death of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, the divisive statesman who stunned the Arab world with his dramatic turnaround, marked the end of an era of strongman politics in the Middle East, analysts say.

Ex-Israeli PM Ariel Sharon dies at hospital at 85
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died on Saturday at the age of 85, the director of the Rehabilitation Hospital at the Sheba Medical center confirmed at a press conference in the hospital.

State funeral of ex-Israeli PM to be held on Monday

Israel will hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday, who died on Saturday at the age of 85, his family said.

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At home, Sharon was eulogized by various politicians, topped by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.

The Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have reacted to the death of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon on Saturday, with moderates showing their apathy toward it and hardliners hailing his departure.

"As Israel says goodbye to Prime Minister Sharon, we join with the Israeli people in honoring his commitment to his country," Obama said in a statement, calling Sharon a leader "who dedicated his life to the State of Israel."
"With his courageous decision to withdraw Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip, he took a historic step on the path to a deal with the Palestinians and a two-state solution," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said Saturday he was "saddened" by the death of Ariel Sharon, former prime minister of Israel, and called on the country to build on his legacy of pragmatism to press ahead with the Israeli- Palestinian peace process.


Beijing Morning Post
Yu Guoqing, an expert on Middle East issues, called Sharon a “controversial political figure.” Israelis at home and abroad view the leader quite differently. Both his contributions and faults are clear. Supporters regard him as a fighter for peace, while critics decry him as a warmonger.

Shanghai-based Xinmin Weekly

Sharon's death has put a twist in the path to peace. Many unexpected events occur in the Middle East, which have stirred both hatred and regret. But time will heal all wounds. Egypt did not see great chaos after the former Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat was killed. There was also a smooth transition in Palestine after the death of former president Yasser Arafat. Though without his rich war experience or high prestige, a new generation will lead Israel. Hopefully they will have the creativity to find peace in the Middle East.

The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said Ariel Sharon had shaped the current state of the West Bank and Israel's relations with the Palestinians more than any other Israeli politician in recent years.

the Guardian
Most outsiders will remember Sharon as a military dynamo and hardline Zionist. Yet in private he was said to be a contemplative man, who only felt true peace on his 1,000-acre farm in the arid Negev, and hid a tragic private life.

USA Today
"Clearly this is a man who had second thoughts in the later years of his life," said Ted Galen Carpenter, a foreign affairs analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington. "If the peace process is successful, he will be remembered as an important catalyst for peace," Carpenter said. "If it's not successful, he'll be remembered more for the hard-line policies he adopted earlier in his career."

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Source: ifeng.com

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