LATRUN, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 3, 2002: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon walks past the 'Wall of Names' during a memorial ceremony at the Israeli army's Armored Corps' Memorial.
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Israeli media reports death of Ariel Sharon

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- The son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says his father has died.

The 85-year-old Sharon had been in a coma since a debilitating stroke eight years ago. The Sheba Medical Center that has been treating Sharon said last week that his health has been declining. Sharon had been suffered from failure vital organs including his kidneys shortly before his death.

His son Gilad Sharon said: "He has gone. He went when he decided to go."

The hard-charging Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic figures.

After a distinguished, and controversial, military career, he went into politics and held a number of Cabinet posts.

He was elected prime minister in 2001, and despite his hardline views, led Israel's historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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