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Ariel Sharon's Health Further Deteriorates, Former Israeli Prime Minister In Grave Condition: Hospital

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ARIEL SHARON
FILE -- In this Sunday May 16, 2004 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pauses during a news conference in his Jerusalem office regarding education reform. On Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 the condition of the comatose former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has taken a turn for the worse, the hospital treating him said Wednesday. Sharon, 85, has been in a coma since 2006 when a devastating stroke incapacitated him at the height of his political power. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli hospital treating Ariel Sharon says the former prime minister has deteriorated further and he is now in 'grave' condition.

Sharon, who has been comatose since suffering a stroke eight years ago, suffered a downturn in his health last week with a decline in key bodily organs.

The Sheba Medical Center said Thursday his condition has worsened and his family is by his bedside.

Sharon, one of Israel's most controversial and iconic figures, suffered the stroke at the height of his political power as he appeared to be cruising toward re-election.

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