Ariel Sharon - Profile

Published February 7th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Ariel Sharon was born at Kfar Malal in 1928, the son of Russian immigrants. 

He joined the terrorist Haganah at the age of 14 in 1942.  

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, he commanded an infantry company in the Alexandroni Brigade.  

In 1953, he founded and led the "101" special commando unit which carried out retaliatory operations. The unit executed Qebia massacre, where 69 Palestinians were slain. 

Sharon was appointed commander of a Paratroop Corps in 1956 and fought in the Sinai Campaign. In 1957 he attended the Camberley Staff College in Great Britain.  

During 1958-62, Sharon served as Infantry Brigade Commander and then Infantry School Commander, and attended Law School at Tel Aviv University. He was appointed Head of the Northern Command Staff in 1964 and Head of the Army Training Department in 1966.  

He participated in the 1967 Six Day War as commander of an armored division. In 1969 he was appointed Head of the Southern Command Staff. Sharon resigned from the army in June 1972, but was recalled to active military service in the 1973 October War to command an armored division. He commanded 27,000 Israeli troops across the Suez Canal into Egypt, which helped turn the tide of war. 

Ariel Sharon was elected to the Knesset in December 1973, but resigned a year later, serving as Security Adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1975). He was elected to the Knesset in 1977 on the Shlomzion ticket. Following the elections, he joined the Herut party and was appointed Minister of Agriculture.  

He served as Minister of Defense from 1981-83. He engineered the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, an episode which reflected disastrously on Israel. He was held indirectly responsible for 1982 massacres in two Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla where hundred of defenseless Palestinians were killed at the hands of pro-Israeli Christian militias. This cost him his post as defense minister. 

He served as Minister of Industry and Trade from 1984-90 and as Minister of Housing and Construction from 1990-92. He played a key role in settlement expansion during his office as minister of housing. 

In the 13th Knesset, he served on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.  

Sharon is married and has two sons – (Several Sources) 


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