Arik Sharon
Arik Sharon Israel news photo

Dov Weisglass, a top aide to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, made headlines this morning (Thursday) when he quoted doctors as saying Sharon might soon emerge from his coma-like state. Doctors at Sheba Hospital, where he has been hospitalized for over three years, said afterwards there were no such indications.

Attorney Weisglass was a close friend and confidante of the former prime minister, and advised him extensively regarding the Disengagement/expulsion of Jews from communities in Gush Katif and northern Shomron in 2005. Weisglass told Voice of Israel government radio that doctors told him that Sharon is in “a high place in terms of steps towards waking up.” Sharon is in a “not deep coma state,” Weisglass said.

Other reports have said that Sharon’s eyes are often open, and it is hard to know whether he understands what is being said to him. At least one of four close relatives and friends - Sharon’s two sons, Omri and Gilad, Gilad’s wife, and Dr. Shlomo Segev, his personal physician - visits him every day.

There is “no particular reason for optimism,” Segev said later on Thursday, adding that nothing has changed, and that there is “no indication” that Sharon will emerge from his semi-conscious state any time soon.

Sharon was elected Prime Minister in February 2001, and was re-elected in early 2003. He was unseated from this position only by the massive brain hemorrhage and subsequent coma that struck him in January 2006, shortly before the national elections that brought Sharon’s Kadima party, headed at the time by Ehud Olmert, to power.