Ariel Sharon (help·info) (Hebrew: אריאל שרון, also known by his diminutive Arik, אַריק) (born Ariel Scheinermann (אריאל שיינרמן) on 26 February 1928) is a former Israeli Prime Minister and military leader. Sharon served as Prime Minister from March 2001 until April 2006, though he was unable to carry out his duties after suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006, when he fell into a coma and entered a persistent vegetative state.
During his lengthy career, Sharon was a controversial figure among many factions, both inside and outside Israel. The Israeli government established the Kahan Commission to investigate Sharon's involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacre, and subsequently found he bore some responsibility for the entry of the Lebanese Phalangist militias into the Palestinian camp. Sharon resigned from the Defence Ministry, but remained in the cabinet as minister without portfolio.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, Sharon's policies caused a rift within the Likud Party, and he ultimately left Likud to form a new party called Kadima. He became the first Prime Minister of Israel who did not belong to either Labor or Likud (the two parties that have traditionally dominated
FULL ARTICLE AT WIKIPEDIA.ORG