Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon turned 80 yesterday, still in a coma from a massive stroke in January 2006. Family members gathered at the hospital to mark the occasion, the Jerusalem Post reports. Among them was his eldest son, Omri, due to start a seven-month jail sentence today for illegally raising funds for one of his dad's campaigns.
Sharon served as Israel's prime minister for five years. His deputy, Ehud Olmert, was elected to succeed the former Haganah fighter after he was incapacitated. A former Sharon adviser said there has been little change in Sharon's condition over the last year, though his vital signs are good. "I understand that the doctors are not optimistic," said the aide when asked if Sharon is expected to emerge from the coma.