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MRI Scans May Indicate Improvement in Sharon's Condition

Hospital brain scans appear to give a glimmer of hope for improvement in the condition of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/27/2013, 6:33 AM

Former PM Ariel Sharon
Former PM Ariel Sharon
Flash 90

Hospital brain scans have appeared to give a glimmer of hope for some improvement in the condition of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since suffering a stroke seven years ago, a former aide said on Friday.

Sharon was taken from the Tel Hashomer Hospital where he has lain since 2006 to the Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva for MRI scans on Thursday, Raanan Gissin told AFP.

"The test was routine, but the results not entirely so," Gissin said. "There was some kind of positive indication."

He said that he had no further details.

Soroka spokeswoman Inbar Gutter told AFP that Sharon had been at the hospital "for a few hours" on Thursday for checks before returning to the Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv.

She could not comment on his condition or any procedures he underwent.

Sharon, 84, suffered a stroke in 2006 which left him in a coma. He was admitted to the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem after the massive stroke on January 4, 2006. He was moved to the Tel Hashomer and has remained there in serious but stable condition ever since.

His son Gilad claimed in a 2011 interview that his father is occasionally awake and responds to speech.

“He looks at me and moves fingers when I ask him to,” Gilad said. “I am sure he hears me.”

Sharon, once a Likud leader, was behind the 2005 disengagement plan in which 8,000 Jews were expelled from their homes in Gush Katif. The government claimed that leaving Gush Katif would result in peace and quiet, but rocket and missile attacks from Gaza-based terrorists continued despite the expulsion.

The Kadima party, which Sharon formed so he can implement the disengagement, had 28 seats in the outgoing Knesset but crashed in last week’s elections, barely passing the threshold and winning just two Knesset seats. Kadima's two MKs in this Knesset are Shaul Mofaz, who served as Defense Minister in Sharon's government, and Yisrael Hasson, a former Deputy Director of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).