Israel Prepares for Funeral of Sharon

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Preparations began for the funeral of the critically ill former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, officials said.

Israel Prepares for Funeral of Sharon

Dr Zeev Rotstein, director of Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv, said on Thursday that Sharon's health had deteriorated during the past two days and vital organs were suffering from a critical malfunction.

Sharon had made clear that he preferred to be buried at his Negev home, Sycamore Ranch, next to his late wife, Lily, and not in the traditional grave-site for former prime ministers on Mount Herzl in the capital, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The newspaper reported on Friday that the Prime Minister’s office would handle arrangements for a funeral together with Sharon’s sons, Gilad and Omri, who were at their father's hospital bedside.

Rotstein said earlier that his family and doctors treating him believed that the 85-year-old had taken a turn for the worse, Al Jazeera reported.

"He is in a critical condition and his life is definitely in danger," Rotstein said.

It was the first official medical statement on Sharon's health after reports on Wednesday said he had suffered a kidney malfunction.

Sharon had a stroke on January 4, 2006, slipping into a coma from which he had never recovered.

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