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      Former PM Ariel Sharon's Condition Deteriorates

      Former Prime Minister's condition takes a turn for the worse, after undergoing surgery last month. Family members: He has 1-4 days to live.
      By Tova Dvorin
      First Publish: 1/1/2014, 8:03 PM

      Ariel Sharon
      Ariel Sharon
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition continues to worsen, Sheba Hospital in Tel HaShomer reported Wednesday to Channel 10

      Sharon's condition has been on the decline since being hospitalized for renal failure. The former premier underwent kidney surgery last month to fix the problem, but the move backfired, causing a further breakdown in his vital functions. 

      Medical officials are reportedly not optimistic; all treatment options have been exhausted they say.  

      "We are aware of the low chances [for a recovery]," a source close to the family said to Channel 10. Sharon's son Gilad is currently with him in the hospital, and assessing the situation with the former Prime Minister's medical team. 

      One senior member of the team spoke to Israeli news site Walla!, and indicated that the family is in the process of deciding whether or not to take Sharon off life support - in the figurative sense, at least. Technically, the family cannot take Sharon off life support directly, but they are able to decide what - if any - action can be taken to prolong Sharon's life. 

      "The situation primarily depends on the family now, and what they decide," he stated. "He could stay alive like this for a long time."

      The official's statement contradicts reports from other Israeli news media claiming that family members say he has 1-4 days to live. 

      Sharon, now 85, served as Israel's Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006. During his tenure, he initiated the Disengagement plan, during which thousands of Jews were deported from Gaza and northern Samaria - turning the once-fertile region over to Hamas-control. 

      Sharon suffered a serious stroke on January 4, 2006 and has been comatose since.

      In January 2013, US and Israeli specialists reported that Sharon had showed "significant brain activity" in an MRI scan, responding to pictures of his family seven years after the stroke. Despite this, Sharon's condition basically remains unchanged.