Ex-Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's condition worsens - reports

JERUSALEM Wed Jan 1, 2014 7:36pm GMT

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaks to the media during a news conference in Tel Aviv in this December 1, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaks to the media during a news conference in Tel Aviv in this December 1, 2005 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Gil Cohen Magen

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, comatose since a 2006 stroke, has deteriorated to a "life threatening" condition after suffering kidney malfunction, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday.

Officials at the hospital near Tel Aviv where Sharon, 85, has been treated, did not answer their telephones. A Health Ministry spokeswoman declined to comment.

The ex-general and right-wing leader was known for executing a dramatic political about face with a 2005 Gaza pullout that turned Israeli politics on its head when he quit his party and created a centrist faction that ruled Israel for several years.

The radio, echoing reports by other Israeli media outlets, said Sharon's condition had worsened in the past several days and that his life was in danger due to kidney failure.

The Haaretz newspaper's Web site quoting an unnamed source said that Sharon could die in "a matter of days" if his condition continued to decline. Israel's Channel 2 television said Sharon's sons were at his bed side.

(Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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