February 27, 1928
Ariel Sharon, Israel’s 11th Prime Minister, is born in K’far Malal (near Hod Hasharon).
Born Ariel Scheinerman to political socialist parents who had come to Eretz Yisrael during the Second Aliyah, Sharon joined the Haganah in 1945 and served in the War of Independence where he was wounded at the Battle of Latrun. He rose quickly through the ranks despite a reputation for a lack of restraint, fighting as a paratroop commander in the 1956 Sinai Campaign, a major general in the June 1967 Six Day War and commander of an armored division in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War.
In 1981, Menachem Begin appointed him as Defense Minister, and during his tenure Israel launched 1982’s Operation Peace for the Galilee, for which he was accused of expanding the operation beyond its original intent. Sharon was forced to resign his position after being found negligent in failing to prevent the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps by the Lebanese Christian Phalange troops.
He returned to politics shortly afterwards, and in 1999 was elected head of the Likud party, becoming Prime Minister in 2001. As Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon approved construction of the security fence and oversaw the disengagement from Gaza. After facing opposition from the right wing faction of his Likud party, he broke off and formed the Kadima party in 2005. In 2006, he suffered a stroke that left him incapacitated for more than seven years. He passed away in January 2014.
The photo shows Ariel Sharon at the Suez Canal after peace was made with Egypt in 1982.