Ariel Sharon | Warrior and wily politician

  • Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gives a speech during a memorial ceremony for Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion marking the 32nd anniversary for his death, in Sde Boker in the Negev desert on Dec. 7, 2005. AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA

  • President George W. Bush emphasizes a point as he shares a moment with Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during a April 11, 2005 visit at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas. ERIC DRAPER / MCT

  • Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, left, and President George W. Bush walk from his private office to attend a joint news conference following their talks about the Middle East peace process at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, Monday, April 11, 2005. Sharon is facing opposition at home over the evacuation of Jewish settlers in the occupied territories and is looking to Bush for support. The president's dog Barney sits at right. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pauses during a session in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, on Feb. 16, 2005. LEFTERIS PITARAKIS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Feb. 8, 2005. FLASH 90 / KRT

  • Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon inspects a newly developed type of grapes during an Aug. 12, 2003 visit to an experimental farm at the Ministry of Agriculture in the town of Beit Dagan, some 9 miles east of Tel Aviv. ARIEL JEROZOLIMSKI / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, left, gestures as he talks to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem in this Oct. 11, 2001 file photo, during a special memorial session for the 78 people killed in the Oct. 4, 2001 Sibir flight disaster over the Black Sea. LEFTERIS PITARAKIS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, LEFT, sits with pop star Michael Jackson, Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, second right, and psychic Uri Geller at a private reception in New York on March 22, 2001. HO / REUTERS

  • Then-opposition Likud party leader Ariel Sharon gestures toward a stretch of the Jordan Valley, which lies in the West Bank, during a campaign stop at the Israeli army Tuvlan outpost Wednesday Jan. 3, 2001. Sharon, a leading contender for prime minister of Israel in upcoming elections, put a kinder, gentler spin on his tough talk, saying that in the name of peace he would not speak of territorial concessions to the the Palestinians. ] EYAL WARSHAVSKY / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • U.S. President Bill Clinton, right, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon arriving at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem Sunday Dec 13 1998. At left are Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. J SCOTT APPLEWHITE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, bottom right, talks with Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, bottom left, after addressing Israel's parliament Monday, Dec. 21, 1998 during a Knesset debate on holding early elections. A storm of opposition from both foes and friends of the new Wye peace accord brought Premier Netanyahu's government to the brink of collapse, forcing Netanyahu to agree to early elections. RUTH FREMSON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Ariel Sharon, right, with his wife Lily at a Herut Party convention in Tel Aviv, Oct. 3, 1986. NATI HARNIK / HANDOUT / EFE