Last updated: 4 January, 2014

Israeli ex-PM Sharon’s condition unchanged

The condition of Israeli ex-premier Ariel Sharon, who has been comatose for eight years, was unchanged Saturday, his hospital said, a day after revealing he was in a “slow, gradual” decline.

“There was no significant change in Ariel Sharon’s condition during the course of the (Jewish) sabbath. His conditions remains critical and his life is in danger,” Tel Hashomer hospital, near Tel Aviv, said in its first official bulletin since Friday morning.

It said that barring “dramatic change” an update would be issued at 11:00 am (0900 GMT) Sunday.

Sharon is reportedly nearing death, with the 85-year-old’s health worsening Wednesday as he suffered serious kidney problems after surgery.

“Tests show a slow, gradual deterioration in the functioning of his vital organs… His state has not changed. He’s still in critical condition, and his life is in danger,” Tel Hashomer hospital director Zeev Rotstein was quoted by public radio as saying Friday.

“I don’t think the situation will improve with time, and we know what usually happens in cases like this,” he added, suggesting Sharon might die soon.

Rotstein said there were traces of infection in Sharon’s blood, and that it had not been possible for him to undergo renal dialysis since his other organs were in such a fragile state.

News website Ynet quoted medical sources Wednesday as saying Sharon was taken into intensive care a month ago. His health then stabilised but suffered a “significant deterioration” over the past few days.

The long-time leader of the rightwing nationalist camp in Israeli politics suffered a massive stroke on January 4, 2006, slipping into a coma from which he has never recovered.