JERUSALEM, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The condition of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for eight years and is critically ill lately, has further worsened, a hospital spokesperson confirmed to Xinhua Thursday.
"In the past several hours there has been a deterioration in former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition. His state is defined as fatal and his family is by his side the entire time," Amir Marom, the spokesperson of Sheba Medical center near Tel Aviv said in a statement.
On Jan. 1, Sharon underwent a severe deterioration in health. The 85-year-old suffered kidney failures, which doctors said will lead to a multisystem organ failure.
Sharon has been in a coma since he suffered a stroke in January 2006. He was then replaced by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from his center-left Kadima party, which Sharon established after leaving the Likud a year earlier.
He was a decorated military commander, who orchestrated Israel' s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2005. He is also remembered for his role as defense minister in 1981, when he embarked on an operation which later developed into the first Lebanon War of 1982.