JERUSALEM (AP) — A close associate of Israel's comatose former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says the leader would not have chosen to remain on life support.
Sharon, 84, led the government from 2001 until a stroke left him incapacitated in 2006. He still lies in a coma, connected to a respirator at a hospital in central Israel.
Raanan Gissin, Sharon's longtime spokesman and confidante, said Wednesday that he believes Sharon "would have asked to terminate." He says "knowing the man, he would not want to live this way."
Sharon was a storied military officer who fought in three wars before entering politics. A longtime hard-liner, Sharon shocked Israelis in 2005 when he unilaterally withdrew Israeli troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip after a 38-year military occupation.