Israel mourns former PM Ariel Sharon

Israel mourns former PM Ariel Sharon

    Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon passed away on January 11, 2014, never regaining consciousness after suffering a brain hemorrhage in January 2006.
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    Ariel Sharon, 1928-2014 Ariel Sharon, 1928-2014 Copyright: GPO
    President Shimon Peres: 
    "My dear friend, Arik Sharon, lost his final battle today. Arik was a brave soldier and a daring leader who loved his nation and his nation loved him. He was one of Israel's great protectors and most important architects, who knew no fear and certainly never feared vision. He knew how to take difficult decisions and implement them. We all loved him and he will be greatly missed. I send my condolences to the Sharon family, may he rest in peace."​

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
    "The State of Israel bows its head on the passing of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Ariel Sharon played a central role in the struggle for the security of the State of Israel over all its years. He was, first and foremost, a courageous fighter and an outstanding general, and was among the IDF's greatest commanders. From his youth, he served the people of Israel on the battlefield. He did so as a soldier in the War of Independence, a commander in the [1956] Sinai campaign and the Six Day War, and up to his decisive role in the battle over the Suez Canal that led to the turning point in the Yom Kippur War.
    He established Unit 101 and took the initiative in the war against terrorism, which became a central pillar of the State of Israel. Upon leaving the military, he continued to work on behalf of the people of Israel both in his many government roles and as the 11th prime minister of the State of Israel. His memory will be enshrined forever in the heart of the nation."

    Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman:
    "Ariel Sharon served the State of Israel from its establishment until the last moment he could, taking part in the central events that shaped its character. Sharon will be remembered first of all as a great military commander who led many important battles, most importantly the crossing of the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War, as well as the battles of Israel's War of Independence and the establishment of the special 101 Unit, the Sinai Campaign, and more. 
    Sharon's political legacy has always been controversial, from his tenure as Chairman of the Ministerial Settlement Committee which strengthened Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, to the disengagement from Gaza which he initiated and implemented. He will go down in the history of Israel as one of the most noteworthy and influential figures."

  • Ariel Sharon - From soldier to statesman

    Ariel Sharon - From soldier to statesman
     Photos: GPO

    PM Netanyahu at Cabinet meeting (12 Jan 2014):

    "We take leave from Ariel Sharon, the 11th Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Arik was, first and foremost, a warrior and a commander, among the Jewish people's greatest generals in the current era and throughout its history. He was dedicated to the security of the state from his youth, as a young fighter in the War of Independence, and afterwards as a commander in the 1956 Sinai operation, in the Six Day War and in the decisive battle – during the Yom Kippur War, in leading the IDF across the Suez Canal, which, for all intents and purposes, led to a successful conclusion of a war that began under very difficult conditions for the State of Israel.

    He established Unit #101 and set two primary foundations for Israel's struggle against terrorism, initiative and retaliation, which stand to this day. He also continued this action as Defense Minister, in distancing terrorism from our northern border.

    In all of his positions – Defense Minister, Housing Minister, Infrastructures Minister and Foreign Minister – Arik contributed to the State of Israel, as he also did as Prime Minister. I think that he represents the generation of Jewish warriors that arose for our people upon the resumption of our independence.

    He was tied to the land; he knew that it had to be defended. He understood that above everything, our revival is our ability to defend ourselves by ourselves. I believe that he will be remembered in the heart of the Jewish people's forever as one of our most outstanding leaders and most daring commanders."

  • Ariel Sharon to be laid to rest

    On Sunday, 12 January 2014, Ariel Sharon's coffin will be brought to the Knesset for the public to pay its respects.

    President Peres lays a wreath at the coffin of Ariel Sharon
    President Peres lays a wreath at the coffin of Ariel Sharon
    Copyright: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom
    On Monday, 13 January 2014, at 09:30, a state memorial ceremony will be held at the Knesset. President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and family members will speak. Senior guests – including US Vice President Joe Biden, Quartet representative and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Czech Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok, Russian State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Spanish Home Affairs Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and others – will also attend. (US Vice President Joe Biden and Quartet representative Tony Blair will also speak.)

    The Knesset Channel​ will broadcast the events live.

    Following the ceremony, the funeral procession will depart for the Shikmim Farm in the Negev by military convoy. The convoy will stop en route at Latrun for a special meeting of the IDF General Staff forum. At 14:00, Ariel Sharon will be laid to rest in a military funeral at the Shikmim Farm, alongside his wife Lili.

  • Book of Condolences for the Memory of Ariel Sharon at the Israeli Embassy

    The Embassy of Israel in Helsinki opens a book of condolences in Ariel Sharon's memory.
    The book is open at the embassy (address: Yrjönkatu 36 A, Helsinki, Finland) on Monday 13.1.2014 from 15.00 to 17.00, on Tuesday 14.1. from 14.00 to 17.00 and on Wednesday 15.1. from 10.00 to 13.00.