Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the most powerful Israeli
leader in 50 years, has died, Middle East Newsline reported. He was 77.
Sharon was declared dead by physicians at Jerusalem's
Hadassah Hospital before 1 p.m. Israeli time [6 a.m. EST]. Authorities have
already been notified of the death, and a government announcement was expected
to be issued over the next hour.
The above story has not been confirmed anywhere. In fact, a press
conference after Sharon's latest surgery offered the news that his condition
was “grave,” with the Washington Post saying he is “stable.”
However, the above story from the World Tribune mirrors what was
being reported on Fox much earlier this morning. Reported simultaneously was
the fact that physicians took Sharon back into the operating room, and it's
odd to write this at all but it's what was said, to keep from having to pronounce
the prime minister dead. Obviously, the Israelis are petrified of the consequences
of losing Ariel Sharon, because with his inevitable passing comes the
most uncertain times we've known in the Middle East since long before we
willingly and blindly walked into Iraq, giving Iran a new partner, which has become just one of the unintended consequences of preemption.