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January 12, 2014 12:14 pm

Netanyahu Remembers Ariel Sharon as ‘Warrior’ and ‘Commander’

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Israelis line up to pay their last respects to former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon. Photo: Knesset.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remembered his deceased predecessor Ariel Sharon as a great  military leader, at the start of his cabinet’s weekly meeting on Sunday.

“Arik was, first and foremost, a warrior and a commander, among the Jewish People’s greatest generals in the current era and throughout its history,” Netanyahu said. “He was dedicated to the security of the state from his youth.”

Listing Sharon’s military accomplishments, he also praised Sharon’s service in political roles. “In all of his positions – Defense Minister, Housing Minister, Infrastructures Minister and Foreign Minister – Arik contributed to the State of Israel, as he also did as Prime Minister,” Netanyahu said. “I think that he represents the generation of Jewish warriors that arose for our people upon the resumption of our independence.”

“He was tied to the land; he knew that it had to be defended. He understood that above everything, our revival is our ability to defend ourselves by ourselves. I believe that he will be remembered in the heart of the Jewish People’s forever as one of our most outstanding leaders and most daring commanders,” the prime minister concluded.

Sharon died on Saturday at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center aged 85. After suffering a massive stroke in 2006, he was comatose for the final eight years of his life.

Shortly after his passing, Israel’s President Shimon Peres also expressed his condolences.

“My dear friend, Arik Sharon, lost his final battle today,” Peres said. “Arik was a brave soldier and a daring leader who loved his nation and his nation loved him. He was one of Israel’s great protectors and most important architects, who knew no fear and certainly never feared vision. He knew how to take difficult decisions and implement them. We all loved him and he will be greatly missed. I send my condolences to the Sharon family. May he rest in peace.”

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