Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon GPO photo

Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel whose last claim to fame was his expulsion of some 10,000 Jews from their homes in Gush Katif and northern Samaria, is still in a coma, as he has been since 2005. But recent medical treatments show that there is activity in Sharon's brain – specifically when it comes to recognizing photos of family members.

Sharon was recently examined by experts at Ben Gurion University and Soroka Hospital, where he underwent an MRI scan, Voice of Israel public radio reported. During the two-hour test, Sharon was showed pictures of his family members, and a recording of the voice of his son Gilad was played for him.

According to the researchers, there was a “definite reaction” in Sharon's brain when he saw the images and heard the voice. However, there was no way to tell if Sharon was aware of the images, and if so how aware he actually was.

Officials at Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, where Sharon is hospitalized, emphasized that there has been no clinical change in Sharon's condition. Tests using voices and light have been conducted at the hospital over the six years Sharon has been at the hospital, and it appears that he does respond to these stimuli.

However, the officials added Sharon is still unaware of his general situation and whereabouts.