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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 May 2006, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Sharon moved for long-term care
Ambulance arriving at Sheba Medical Center
Curtains shield the ambulance said to be carrying Mr Sharon
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been moved from hospital to a specialist care centre in Tel Aviv.

Mr Sharon, 78, suffered a major stroke in January and has remained in a coma despite eight operations.

He was moved from Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, where doctors say he can receive appropriate long-term care.

Mr Sharon's deputy, Ehud Olmert, assumed his powers in January and was recently elected prime minister.

The director of the Sheba centre, Dr Zeev Rotstein, told reporters that Mr Sharon's treatment would be "difficult, because in his condition, complications are expected".

Legacy

Correspondents say the move away from the Hadassah hospital signals an acceptance that Mr Sharon is unlikely to emerge from his coma any time soon.

"We will treat him as best we can. It is not a short-term treatment, we are talking about long-term treatment," Dr Rotstein added.

Mr Sharon, a former army commander who fought in a series of Middle East wars, held a number of cabinet positions before he became prime minister in 2001.

He is among the best known politicians in Israel's history, but is widely hated by many in the Arab world.

His tenure in office was dominated by security concerns, and he pushed through Israel's withdrawal from settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005.


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