Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was described as being in "extremely critical" condition Thursday night, has had members of his former office and close friends visit his hospital room in quick succession, indicating the rapid developments in his failing health.
The visitors are arriving at Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv, where Sharon is located, to say goodbye to Sharon and offer emotional support to his family. Sharon's sons Omri and Gilad are not leaving their father's bedside.
"The situation is getting worse from day to day, not hour to hour but definitely day to day," related Prof. Zeev Rotstein of the hospital on Thursday. "We the medical team, and his sons who are always there, continue to surround him with great care. Many people are coming to visit the family."
Sharon has been in a coma since January 4, 2006 after suffering a massive stroke. In the past few weeks he has undergone a rapid deterioration as his vital organs began failing.
After a long and controversial career, Sharon was elected prime minister in 2001, after the outbreak of the terror war referred to as the Second Intifada. Less than four years later, Sharon pulled out all Jewish residents from Gaza in the "Disengagement," leaving a vacuum that the Hamas terrorist organization filled shortly thereafter. Hamas has subjected Israel to an ongoing barrage of rockets ever since.