Sunday, 12 January 2014

General Knowledge-Current Affairs-Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister, dead at 85




Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister, dead at 85

Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister died on 11th January 2014.  He served half century as a military and political leader in Israel was marked with victories and controversies, died Saturday after eight years in a coma.  Sharon was 85.

Sharon died at Sheba Medical Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Tel Hashomer.

The Israeli statesman was a national war hero to many Israelis for his leadership, both in uniform or as a civilian, during every Israeli war.

Many in the Arab world called Sharon "the Butcher of Beirut" after he oversaw Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon while serving as defense minister.

Sharon, who lived on a ranch in the Negev Desert, became prime minister on March 7, 2001.

He was the man who encouraged Israelis to establish settlements on occupied Palestinian land, but he also was the leader who pushed for Israel's historic 2005 withdrawal from 25 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, which was turned over to Palestinian rule for the first time in 38 years.

Sharon broke away from his right-wing Likud Party in November 2005 to form the political party Kadima, Hebrew for "Forward."

In 1953, after a wave of terrorist attacks from Jordan, Sharon the military leader led the infamous Unit 101 on a raid into the border town of Kibya, blowing up 45 houses and killing 69 Arab villagers. Sharon said he thought the houses were empty.

In June 1967, as a general, Sharon led his tank battalion to a crushing victory over the Egyptians in the Sinai during the Six Day War.

But what he considered his greatest military success came in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War. He surrounded Egypt's Third Army and, defying orders, led 200 tanks and 5,000 men over the Suez Canal, a turning point in the war.

Sharon was born on a farm outside Tel Aviv. The son of Russian immigrants, he always remembered a lesson from his father as he ascended to the highest office in Israel.

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