Ariel ('Arik') Sharon was born in 1928 in Kfar Malal.
He served in the IDF for more than 25 years, retiring with the rank of
Major-General. He holds an LL.B in Law from the Hebrew University of
Sharon joined the Haganah at the age of 14.
During the 1948 War of Independence, he commanded an infantry company in
the Alexandroni Brigade. In 1953, he founded and led the "101" special
commando unit which carried out retaliatory operations. Sharon was
appointed commander of a paratroop brigade in 1956 and fought in the
Sinai Campaign. In 1957 he attended the Camberley Staff College in Great
During 1958-62, Sharon served as an infantry brigade
commander and then as Infantry School Commander. He was appointed Head
of the IDF Northern Command in 1964 and Head of the Army Training Branch
in 1966. He participated in the 1967 Six Day War as commander of an
armored division. In 1969 he was appointed Head of the IDF Southern
Sharon resigned from the army in 1973, but was recalled
to active military service in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War to
command an armored division. He led the crossing of the Suez Canal which
brought about victory in the war and eventual peace with Egypt.
Sharon was elected to the Knesset in December 1973, but resigned a year
later, serving as security adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
He was again elected to the Knesset in 1977 on the
Shlomzion ticket. Appointed Minister of Agriculture in Menachem Begin's
first government (1977-81), he pursued agricultural cooperation with
In 1981 Ariel Sharon was appointed Defense Minister,
serving in this post during the Lebanon War, which brought about the
destruction of the PLO terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon. In the realm
of international relations, he was instrumental in renewing diplomatic
relations with the African nations which had broken off ties with Israel
during the Yom Kippur War. In November 1981, he brought about the first
strategic cooperation agreement with the U.S. and widened defense ties
between Israel and many nations. He also helped bring thousands of Jews
from Ethiopia through Sudan.
From 1983-84, Sharon served as
Minister without Portfolio, and from 1984-1990 as Minister of Trade and
Industry. In this capacity, he concluded the Free Trade Agreement with
the U.S. in 1985.
From 1990-1992, he served as Minister of
Construction and Housing and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on
Immigration and Absorption. Following the fall of the Soviet Union and
the waves of immigration from Russia, he initiated and carried out a
program to absorb the immigrants throughout the country, including the
construction of 144,000 apartments.
From 1992-1996, he served as a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
1996, Ariel Sharon was appointed Minister of National Infrastructure
and was involved in fostering joint ventures with Jordan, Egypt and the
Palestinians. He also served as Chairman of the Ministerial Committee
for Bedouin advancement.
In 1998 Ariel Sharon was appointed
Foreign Minister and headed the permanent status negotiations with the
While serving as Foreign Minister, Sharon
met with U.S., European, Palestinian and Arab leaders to advance the
peace process. He worked mostly to create and advance projects such as
the Flagship Water Project funded by the international community to find
a long-term solution to the region's water crisis and a basis to
peaceful relations between Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians and other
Middle Eastern countries.
Following the election of Ehud Barak
as Prime Minister in May 1999, Ariel Sharon was called upon to become
interim Likud party leader, and in September 1999 was elected Chairman
of the Likud. He served as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense
On February 6, 2001, Ariel Sharon was elected Prime
Minister. He presented his government to the Knesset on March 7, 2001.
After calling early elections to the 16th Knesset, which were held on
January 28, 2003, Ariel Sharon was charged by the president with the
task of forming a government and presented his new government to the
Knesset on February 27, 2003.
A policy statement issued by the
Israeli government following the election of Ariel Sharon as Prime
Minister in February 2001 reaffirmed the Israeli government's
determination to achieve peace with its Palestinian neighbors. In May
2003 his government accepted the US road map for a solution to the
Israel-Palestinian conflict. In June 2004, the government approved the
Disengagement Plan from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria, which was
implemented the following year, in order to create the opportunity for
On January 4, 2006, after forming a new party, Kadima, in
anticipation of elections to the 17th Knesset, Prime Minister Sharon
suffered a brain hemorrhage and Ehud Olmert was designated Acting Prime
Minister in accordance with the Basic Law: Government.
Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon never regained consciousness and passed away eight years later, on January 11th, 2014.