Ariel Sharon

(1928-2014) A Jewish Israeli political and military figure. Sharon served as a commander and officer in the Israeli army from1948 (when the State of Israel was established) until 1973. Upon his retirement from the army, he helped found the Likud party and went on to serve in many ministerial positions within the Israeli government. Sharon was the Minister of Defense during the 1982 War in Lebanon, resigning from the post after a government commission found him indirectly responsible for the September 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre. Sharon was considered one of the settlement movement’s greatest champions. While Minister of Construction and Housing (1990-1992), he oversaw the most comprehensive expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories in the 1967 War. On September 28 2000, then head of the opposition Likud party, Sharon visited Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount flanked by over 1,000 Israeli police, and declared that the complex would remain under permanent Israeli control. This sparked protests that escalated into the Second Intifada. Sharon was elected Prime Minister of Israel from 2001-2006, and initiated and oversaw the Gaza Disengagement. In November 2005, he quit the Likud Party and formed Kadima. In early January 2006, Sharon suffered a massive stroke, dying in 2014. See "Israel’s Ariel Sharon Dies at 85," Al Jazeera English, Jan 11, 2014.

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