Ariel Sharon’s Life: Timeline
1928: Born in Palestine, when it was under British mandate.
1948–1949: Joined the the Zionist military organization Haganah, and served as a platoon commander in the Arab-Israeli war.
1950s: Led a special forces team, Unit 101, in raids targeting Palestinian militias after Palestinian attacks.
1973: Elected Knesset member for the Likud party. Sharon is credited with helping turn the tide of the 1973 Mideast war when Arab armies launched a surprise attack on Israel on the solemn fasting day of Yom Kippur, causing large Israeli casualties. He led an Israeli force across the Suez Canal, trapping part of the Egyptian army and turning the war in Israel’s favor.
1975–1977: Served as security adviser to the prime minister.
1977–1981: Served as minister of agriculture.
1981–1983: Minister of defense
1982: Led Israel’s invasion of Lebanon after the Lebanon-based Palestinian Liberation Organization shelled Israel. Sharon resigned from government after the Israeli Army didn’t successfully prevent the murder of thousands of Palestinian refugees by Christian Phalangists in the refugees camps of Sabra and Shatila. Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel were responsible for the massacre at the camps, which were under Israeli control.
1984–1990: Minister of trade and industry
1990–1992: Minister of construction and housing
1996–1998: Minister of national infrastructure
1998–1999: Foreign minister
2001–2006: Prime minister
August 2005: Announced the Disengagement Plan, withdrawing from the Gaza Strip. He dismantled settlements from Gaza and from the West Bank.
November 2005: Resigned from the Likud party and formed a new party “Kadima” (meaning “forward” in Hebrew).
2006: Suffered a stroke and entered a coma, which has lasted for eight years.
January 2013: Scientists perform tests on Sharon, discovering that he may still be mentally functioning at a higher level than previously thought. A research team played recording of his son’s voice, showed pictures of his family, and exposed him to other such stimuli. Professor Alon Friedman, a neuroscientist at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and a member of a research team, told The New York Times: “We were surprised that there was activity in the proper parts of the brain. …It raises the chances that he hears and understands, but we cannot be sure. The test did not prove that.”
January 2014: Doctors announce that Sharon’s condition is critical.