OK, people, I didn’t mean to throw anyone into a panic. Here’s what happened…and updates will appear below until we know what’s up…
This morning, I got an email: “It is with great Sadness that Israel Resource News Agency confirms that Ariel Sharon, the prime minister of Israel, died this morning, January 5th, 2006, 5th Tevet, 5766, at 11:00 AM at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel.”
UPDATED POST–Rumors of Sharon’s Death Greatly Exaggerated?:
Last night (NY time) Harry reported that there were rumors that were so unsubstantiated that he was afraid to report them. According to the JTA, “Doctors and Sharon aides refuted rumors Thursday that the prime minister had died. Sharon’s vital signs were stable, Hadassah hospital director Shlomo Mor-Yosef told reporters Thursday.”
No news yet from the Hadassah Medical Organization website.
Noon: CNN Radio just pronounced him “unlikely to survive” the massive stroke.
12:50pm (NYC time): Ha’aretz is posting a minute by minute update…last report:
19:45 — “Sharon not in vegetative state, has retained brain and heart functions (Channel 2)”
20:46 — “Hospital officials: Next update on Sharon’s condition expected at 7 A.M. (AP)”
21:29–“Hadassah officials: Sharon has suffered immense brain damage (Haaretz)”
3:07 NYC local time: I (Esther) just received another email from the Israel Resource News Agency:
“Israel Resource News Agency confirms that at about noon today, Israel time, doctors at Hadassah Hospital and security officials at the Israel Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv were simultaneously informed that Prime Minister Sharon had died during surgery shortly before 11:00 AM.
Israel Resource News Agency has again spoken with officials from both Hadassah and the Israel Ministry of Defence who were officially informed at noon of Sharon’s death.
That begs the question: why does the government of Israel deny reports of Sharon’s death?
There are two possible explanations.
One is that, for whatever reason, the government is withholding the report.
The other explanation is that Sharon has been placed on a life support system, and that Sharon is “only” clinically dead.”
[So those of you watching your conspiracy-o-meters may want to put in a call to Oliver Stone.]
But seriously, I’m not loving the fact that I started this post. It’s a sad moment in the life of Israel, whether Sharon is still with us or not. I wish we all had the closure of really knowing what’s going on. I’ll continue to monitor Ha’aretz, and if someone else hears something, feel free to post it and let me know…