A file picture taken in October 1973 and provided by the Israeli Army shows Ariel Sharon (C) with Moshe Dayan (L) on the western side of the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippor war. AFP PHOTO/IDF HO
Lest we forget
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Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the trailblazing warrior-statesman who transformed the region and was reviled by Arab foes over generations of conflict, died on Saturday at 85 eight years after suffering a massive stroke.Sharon left major historical footprints on the Middle East through military invasion, Jewish settlement-building on occupied land the Palestinians seek for a state but also a shock, unilateral decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. The pullout, however, led to Gaza's takeover by the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement who, unlike the West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, spurns peace and co-existence with Israel.An Israeli state inquiry found Sharon, who as defence minister engineered Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon and war against Palestinian guerrillas there, indirectly responsible for the killings, and he was forced to resign his post.Many Israelis will remember Sharon as a maverick military leader who fought in the 1948 war of Israel's founding and went on to earn a reputation for trigger-happy disobedience, but also for battlefield bravery and brilliance.
Lest we forget
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