Ariel Sharon died at a hospital near Tel Aviv on Jan 11, aged 85, after eight years in a coma. We look back at the life of one of the Middle East's most formidable statesman.
Picture: Ariel Sharon opens the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office in July 2003.
From solider to politician and statesman, Israel’s 11th Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has had a career that has been as influential as it has been controversial. Regarded as Israel’s greatest military field commander for his strategies in the wars of the 1960s and 70s he was elected Prime Minister in 2001 to lead the country he strived so fervently to defend. In 2005 Sharon was responsible for the unilateral withdrawal of settlers from the occupied Gaza Strip, before being permanently incapacitated by a stroke in 2006. We look back at the life of one of the Middle East's most formidable statesman.