Timeline: A life in politics

The following is a chronology of the career of Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister who was hospitalised on Wednesday to undergo surgery for a brain haemorrhage.

    Sharon's political career began in the Israeli military

    1948 - Sharon commands infantry company in Israel's independence war.

    1953 - Special army commando "Unit 101" led by Sharon carries out raid into Jordan in which 69 civilians are killed. Raid was reprisal for Palestinian guerrilla attack.

    1967 - Sharon commands armoured division as Israel captures West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai in war.

    1973 - Sharon recalled from retirement after Arab armies launch surprise attack. Disobeying orders, Sharon's division crosses Egypt's Suez Canal.

    1977 - Sharon elected to parliament and becomes agriculture minister in Israel's first right-wing government. Sharon becomes major patron of Jewish settlements.

    1982 - As defence minister, Sharon masterminds invasion of Lebanon to root out Palestinian guerrillas. Lebanese Christian allies kill hundreds of Palestinians in refugee camps. Sharon oversees evacuation of Jewish settlers from Sinai for its handover to Egypt under peace treaty.

    1983 - Sharon forced to resign after Israeli inquiry finds him indirectly responsible for massacres in Lebanon.

    1998 - As foreign minister, Sharon urges Israelis to "grab as many hilltops as you can" in occupied territory.

    28 September 2000 - Opposition leader Sharon visits flashpoint Jerusalem holy site. Clashes erupt. Palestinians say the visit triggers their uprising. Israel says revolt was already planned.

    7 March 2001 - Sharon takes office as prime minister after defeating Prime Minister Ehud Barak of centre-left Labour.

    28 January 2003 - Sharon, after using tough measures to suppress uprising, re-elected with bigger margin.

    18 December 2003 - Sharon announces Disengagement Plan calling for settlements to be removed. He later says all settlements in Gaza Strip and four in the West Bank will go.

    Feb. 8, 2005 - Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agree ceasefire.

    12 September 2005 - Israel completes withdrawal of troops and settlers from Gaza Strip despite attempts to stop the evacuation by ultranationalists including Likud "rebels".

    21 November 2005 - Sharon quits Likud to form new centrist party ahead of early elections.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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