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PM Sharon’s Fight for Life

Having just woken up, I have only just heard the terrible news about Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has suffered a terrible stroke with “massive bleeding in his brain.” The irony is that I see many people have visited this site, probably wanting to find out what is going on from a blogger in Israel, yet it is those of you around the world that have known about this while I was sleeping.

 

In case you did not hear about Prime Minister Sharon, he has reportedly suffered another stroke, this one not being called “minor” by anyone. In fact, it is being called “massive brain hemorrhage,” and there has apparently been massive bleeding in his brain.

 

As was the case with Sharon’s last stroke, we are hearing differing reports about his condition and chances for recovery.

 

  • Sharon’s physician, Professor Bolek Goldman said Wednesday night that he expected Sharon “to emerge from [surgery] safely.”

  • Sharon aide Ra’anan Gissin displayed some optimism when he said that the surgery was “proceeding as expected,” and that the prime minister’s condition was stable, but then did add that “An operation like this is very complicated and I’m not a doctor so I can’t tell you.”

  • Hospital sources have been quoted as saying that while the bleeding in the prime minister’s brain had been extensive, it was not in the brain stem itself.

  • On the other hand, YNet report that PM Sharon clings to life, quoting senior officials at the Prime Minister’s Office who said “the situation is difficult. We are praying the internal bleeding Sharon is suffering can be stopped. We’re trying to maintain our optimism but the situation is not looking good.”
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    Updates

     

    7:15AM: The Jerusalem Post report that Sharon has survived a six-hour long operation for cerebral hemorrhaging. While the front page of the Post website is running with the headline Successful Operation Stops Bleeding, the report is less optimistic in tone.

    Several of Sharon’s advisors left the emergency room with what journalists described as “poker faces.” When pressed for details on his condition, they refused to comment.

    The Prime Minister is reportedly still unconscious, and undergoing tests.

     

    I will be attempting to update you throughout the day as to his condition.

     

    7:30AM: Now the Jerusalem Post are reporting that he is returning to the operating table a CAT scan revealed additional areas of cerebral bleeding. Ha’aretz quote Hadassah director, Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef, who said that “One could say his condition is grave.”

     

    7:35AM: Channel 10 are reporting that there is massive widespread bleeding in the brain. As my wife says “when a person goes in to the operating room again after a surgery, and there is massive bleeding in the brain, it is not looking good.” I happen to agree.

     

    7:50AM: US President Bush:

    “Laura and I share the concerns of the Israeli people about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s health, and we are praying for his recovery..Prime Minister Sharon is a man of courage and peace. On behalf of all Americans, we send our best wishes and hopes to the prime minister and his family.”

    8:05AM: Ha’aretz’s Aluf Benn makes an important point. Even if Prime Minister Sharon survives, his political future is grim.

    The hospitalization of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, this time because of a cerebral hemorrhage, will make it difficult for him to return to his job even if he gets through the medical treatment and gets better.

     

    Moreover, even if he does recover, he will have a very hard time convincing the public of his ability to serve four more years, after undergoing two strokes in two and a half weeks.

    I would have thought, though, that even if he does survive, he will be incapacitated. After suffering a massive stroke, you need months of rehabilitation, and, even after that, you may remain disabled.

     

    8:20AM: The Arab reaction is mixed.

    Pan-Arab satellite television broadcasters beamed out largely straightforward, nonstop live coverage early Thursday from outside the Jerusalem hospital where Prime Minister Ariel Sharon struggled for his life.

     

    While the Palestinian militant groups expressed satisfaction at Sharon’s declining health, some Arab commentators praised him for last summer’s disengagement from Gaza.

    —- 

    Officials from the Palestinian Authority voiced concern for the future of the peace process in Sharon’s possible absence.

     

    “On a purely humanitarian level we feel sorry for Mr Sharon,” said Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Shaath.

     

    “Politically it will increase the uncertainty we are facing to get back to the peace process,” he said. “It is highly unpredictable to tell what will happen.”

     

    A Palestinian commentator on the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network offered Sharon unexpected praise as “the first Israeli leader who stopped claiming Israel had a right to all of the Palestinians’ land,” a reference to the recent withdrawal from Gaza.

     

    “A live Sharon is better for the Palestinians now, despite all the crimes he has committed against us,” said Ghazi al-Saadi.

     

    Representatives from the offices of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II contacted Sharon’s aides to express their concern over the prime minister’s condition and their wishes for his recovery.

     

    The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera aired an extended interview with Sharon adviser Raanan Gissin, who explained the prime minister’s condition and treatment.

     

    But a radical Palestinian leader in Damascus, the Syrian capital, called Sharon’s health crisis a gift from God.

     

    “We say it frankly that God is great and is able to exact revenge on this butcher. … We thank God for this gift he presented to us on this new year,” Ahmed Jibril, leader of the Syrian-backed faction Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a small radical group, told the Associated Press.

     

    He said Sharon’s legacy would be one of huge damage inflicted on the Palestinian people.

     

    In Lebanon, Islamic Jihad leader Anwar Abu Taha said, “We are not sorry about his health and let him go to hell whether he lives or dies… we in Islamic Jihad shall continue our holy war until we regain our rights.”

    8:30AMHa’aretz report that Sharon is still under anesthesia, on a respirator, in very serious condition.

     

    8:55AM: Channel 10 are now reporting that his situation is very grave.

     

    9:10AM: Ynetnews asks “Why wasn’t Sharon airlifted to hospital?”

     

    9:25AM: Notice how not one Israeli spokesperson is suggesting that Sharon was poisoned by the neo palestinians. Just saying.

     

    9:30AM: Israeli television are reporting that Sharon is out of surgery and in the neurosurgical intensive care unit.

     

    9:35AM: The Jerusalem Post have an Israeli Channel 2 feed in English here.

     

    10:10AM: We may be playing the waiting game for the next 48 hours, as Sharon lies intubated and sedated, keeping his vital signs with the normal ranges.

     

    10:15AM: Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is now the acting Prime Minister.

     

    The American Moderate Party (via Pajamas Media) opine that he is “well suited to succeed Ariel Sharon.” Many Israelis (me included) believe he is a political opportunist who does not have the credibility to lead the country.

     

    10:25AM: Channel 2 report that Zaka have made a statement regarding a worsening in Sharon’s condition.

     

    1:30PM: Aren’t they lovely.

    Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip are watching the news regarding Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s deteriorating health carefully and will celebrate with Qassam rocket firings at Jewish towns if Sharon dies, terror leaders told WorldNetDaily.

     

    One militant leader threatened the life of Sharon’s temporary replacement, Deputy Minister Ehud Olmert, who was installed as prime minister just hours ago.

    “I am ready with my candies and my rockets and praying to Allah that Sharon dies. We have prepared a celebratory barrage of rockets ready to fire into Israel on the occasion of the death of our enemy,” said Abu Abir, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella group of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists responsible for firing hundreds of Qassam rockets and mortars at Jewish towns.

    Celebrations reportedly are underway in the Gaza Strip, with families distributing sweets and gunmen shooting into the air.

    “I personally am waiting to celebrate. I have my fingers crossed,” Abu Abir said

    2:30PM: Israeli Insider are reporting that Sharon may be dead.

    UNCONFIRMED REPORTS: PRIME MINISTER ARIEL SHARON IS DEAD

     

    Usually reliable sources indicate to Israel Insider that PM Ariel Sharon died at 11 am. It is unclear at this time whether the report refers to brain death — the lack of brain activity — or a formal “flat line” and cessation of his heartbeat. Israeli media channels still report his condition is “very grave.” Director of Hadassah Hospital Shlomo Mor-Yosef officially denies “rumors” of death and says Sharon’s condition is “serious but stable.”

    Haven’t we been through all of this “Is he/isn’t he dead?” uncertainty before with Arafat?

     

    7:50PM: A top neurosurgeon has given Sharon a very slim chance of survival (assuming he is still alive, contrary to the news in the previous update).

     

    7:55PM: Here are some photos of neo palestinians handing out sweets, as I mentioned in a previous update.

     

    A Palestinian boy, a member of the Fatah party’s Palestinian Mini Parliament hands sweets to passers by after hearing news of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s deteriorating health condition, in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006. Palestinians followed reports of Ariel Sharon’s deteriorating health with a mix of apprehension and glee Thursday, and some officials saying they feared the prime minister’s massive stroke could disrupt Palestinian parliament elections Jan. 25.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

    Palestinian boy members of the Fatah party’s Palestinian Mini Parliament hand sweets and flowers to a security officer after hearing news of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s deteriorating health condition, in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006. Palestinians followed reports of Ariel Sharon’s deteriorating health with a mix of apprehension and glee Thursday, and some officials saying they feared the prime minister’s massive stroke could disrupt Palestinian parliament elections Jan. 25.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) 

    For the record, Fatah is the party of neo palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

     

    8:00PM: Israellycool reader Woland posts about a sickening spectacle he saw on Sky News:

    Sky News arranged a discussion on Ariel Sharon himself and some speculations on what will come next.

     

    It was the most biased “discussion” I have ever heard in my life. For about 10 minutes that I had the patience to watch it I watched so called experts compete in who will make a bigger monster of a sick and probably dying man.

     

    One of the “experts”, a round faced man with thinning gray-white hair, was telling the audience how for the last five years Ariel Sharon “has put a veil on the world eyes”, putting an emphasis on how many have gasped when G. W. Bush had called him a man of peace. That meanwhile Sharon was securing Israel true interest – the west bank, effectively expanding the west bank settlements while pretending to oppose it, and cutting of Jerusalem and Arab towns and lands by building a security fence. Apparently leaving Gaza, but controlling it from the outside. The orator also declared that Israel will have a hard time finding a leader that could do the same trick.

     

    In that discussion they also made a brief “history lesson” how Sharon has oppressed Palestinians in the course of his life, that there is a memorial on the Jordanian border where Sharon has passed with his tank brigade, how he ruled with absolute harshness while being military commandant over Gaza and how could the forget about Sabra and Shatila. That he was declared unfit for administrative posts. These exerts also reminded the audience that the Palestinians are scattered and divided without any real leader, that their only income is international help and how easy target they were to Sharon.

    Compare this to Arafat’s treatment in the media when he was dying, which even included crying by a reporter.

     

    9:35PM: The Director-General of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital announced that Sharon will remain in an induced coma for at least 24 hours, stressing that Sharon is still alive.

     

    9:40PM: Here’s more on acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. And here’s a more extensive analysis.

     

    9:45PM: Guess who’s opening up his venom-filled mouth again? I’ll give you a clue: he looks like a monkey, and would love to wipe Israel off the map with the nuclear weapons he almost has.

    Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted Thursday as saying he was hoping for the death of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

     

    ‚ÄúHopefully the news that the criminal of Sabra and Shatila has joined his ancestors is final,” the semi-official students news agency ISNA quoted him as telling a group of Shi’ite Muslim clerics in Iran’s holy city Qom.

    10:05PM: The Arab coverage of Prime Minister Sharon’s health situation varies in scope.

  • Some news outlets, such as Al Crapeeza and Al Bawaba, are covering the story.

  • Others, such as the Egypt Daily, don’t seem to be making much of Sharon’s situation, with the story barely visible on their sites.

  • Others, such as Arab News, Iranmania, the Lebanese Daily Star, and Syrian Arab News Agency, make no mention of it at all.
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    For further updates, click here.

    About the author

    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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