From JPost, Jan. 4, 2006 22:22 Updated Jan. 5, 2006 0:40 By HERB KEINON, GIL HOFFMAN AND JPOST STAFF with Judy Siegel-Itzkovitch, Dan Izenberg and AP ...
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a serious stroke and had been anesthetized, the director general of Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem said late Wednesday. The prime minister was reportedly in serious condition and was suffering from cerebral hemorrhaging. He is currently undergoing emergency neurosurgery in an effort to stop internal bleeding in his brain.
According to a medical expert, the procedure is life threatening. Asked what are the chances of surviving this type of surgery, the doctor replied, "Let's be optimistic, some people survive it." The prime minister's close associates said of his condition: "Hope for a miracle."
According to Justice Ministry spokesman Ya'acov Galant, a prime minister legally remains in his post only as long as he is capable of making decisions. Since Sharon is not conscious after suffering from what doctors termed "a serious stroke," his powers and prerogatives were transferred to his deputy, Finance Minister Ehud Olmert.
Deputy Director of Hadassah Ein Karem, Dr. Shmuel Shapira, told Channel 10 TV that Sharon suffered "a massive stroke, he was taken to an operating room to drain the blood."
The dramatic downturn in Sharon's health comes as Sharon runs for re-election on March 28 at the head of a new centrist party, Kadima, and he enjoys a wide lead in the polls. The party's strength is centered on Sharon himself, and if he were forced to leave the scene, Israel's political scene would be thrown into turmoil.
The Rabbinate was organizing a prayer rally service at the Western Wall....