Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sharon's Home, Sabra Shatilla Relive

An ambulance brought the former Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, to his ranch in the Negev Desert on Friday. Photo: Reuters

New York Times  yesterday reported former prime minister of Israel Ariel Sharon - in a coma after a major stroke almost five years ago - had been moved to his Sycamore Ranch, his vast farm with livestock and nature, in the western Negev Desert, not far from the Gaza Strip.

The ranch, where his wife is buried, was known as the beloved retreat of the 82-year old Mr. Sharon, who breathes on his own but fed intravenously.

An elevator and other equipment had been installed at the family ranch to accommodate his arrival and long-term care.
The cost of keeping Mr. Sharon in the hospital is borne by the taxpayer.

This week, a parliamentary committee approved 1.6 million shekels (US$440,000) in annual funding for Mr Sharon's medical treatment.
  Ariel Sharon ... when prime minister in 2005.
Ariel Sharon ... when prime minister in 2005. Photo: AFP

Mr Sharon is in a vegetative state.
Even though he is in a permanent coma and is likely to never recover, Ariel Sharon is admired by many Israelis as a great military leader, still casts a shadow over Israeli politics but reviled by Palestinians.

The elected prime minister in 2001 who pledged to achieve "security and true peace", however, was keen on promoting the expansion of Israel and initiated the construction of the security barrier around the West Bank.

He is reviled by Palestinians and widely despised in the Arab world:

- For masterminding Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and,

- His role in the massacres at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps outside Beirut in 1982, when he was Israel's Defence Minister.
The killings of between 800 and 3,500 Palestinian civilians led some to label Sharon "the Butcher of Beirut". He was found to bear personal responsibility "for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge" and "not taking appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed".
His negligence in protecting the civilian population of Beirut, which had come under Israeli control amounted to a non-fulfillment of a duty with which the Defence Minister was charged.

During the invasion, Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel massacred hundreds of Palestinians in two refugee camps under Israeli control.
The Sabra and Shatilla massacre occurred between September 16 and 18 where the Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps were killed by the Phalanges—Lebanese Maronite Christian militias.

The Phalange were sent into the camps to clear out PLO fighters while Israeli forces surrounded the camps, blocking camp exits.

He was at the height of his power when he had the stroke in January 2006.


Dr Franklin P. Lamb - an international law scholar, political writer and author.

He is the Director of the Sabra Shatilla Foundation and has been living in Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon, dedicating years of his life and more of it, to the service of Palestinians.
Read more of his entry...

No comments: