JERUSALEM (Feb. 6)
The following is a timeline of key dates in the life of Ariel Sharon:
1928 — Born Ariel Sheinerman in Kfar Malal, near Tel Aviv.
1942-48 — Member of the Haganah, the Jewish fighting force in prestate Israel.
1948 — Wounded while serving as an infantry commander in Israel’s War of Independence.
1952-53 — Studies history and Oriental studies at Hebrew University.
1953 — Founder and commander of the “Unit 101” anti-terror force, which carries out retaliatory raids against Arab terrorists.
1954-57 — Commander of a paratroop brigade that captures the strategic Mitla Pass during the 1956 Sinai War with Egypt.
1957 — Attends Camberley Staff College in Great Britain.
1958-62 — Studies law at Tel Aviv University.
1964-65 — Israel Defense Force chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin appoints him to be chief of staff for the Northern Command.
1967 — During the Six-Day War, commands an armored division in the Sinai Desert and directs a battle that successfully recaptures the Mitla Pass and the corridor to the Suez Canal.
1969-73 — Heads the IDF’s Southern Command. After August 1970, focuses on fighting Palestinian terrorism in the Gaza Strip.
1973 — Retires from the military to pursue political career, and works at establishing the Likud Party. With outbreak of Yom Kippur War, returns to active military service to command an armored division that crosses the Suez Canal.
1973-74 — Elected to Israel’s eighth Knesset, under the Likud banner.
1974 — Proposes that Israel negotiate with Palestinians toward the establishment of a Palestinian state in Jordan.
1975-76 — Appointed special defense adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
1976 — Forms the Shlomzion Party. The party wins two Knesset seats, but soon merges into the Likud.
1977-81 — Minister for agriculture and chairman of a ministerial committee for settlement under Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Considered a patron of the Gush Emunim settlement movement, Sharon advocates establishing a network of Jewish settlements.
1981-83 — Appointed minister of defense by Begin.
April 1982 — Carries out last phase of Israeli evacuation from northern Sinai as part of peace agreement with Egypt.
1982 — Under Sharon’s command, Israel invades Lebanon, code-named Operation Peace for the Galilee.
1983-84 — Resigns as defense minister but remains as minister without portfolio after a government commission finds Sharon indirectly responsible for the September 1982 massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Lebanese Christians.
1984 — Files a libel suit against Time magazine over article on Sharon’s role in the Lebanon war. A New York jury eventually rules that the article was defamatory, but did not have malicious intent.
1984-90 — Minister for industry and trade in national unity government.
1990-92 — Named minister for construction and housing in a Likud-based government formed by Yitzhak Shamir. Continues to encourage development of settlements in territories and oversees vast construction effort to create housing for massive wave of immigration from former Soviet Union.
1991 — Objects to Madrid peace conference under Shamir.
1996 — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu creates national infrastructure portfolio for Sharon in new Likud-led government.
1998 — Becomes foreign minister following resignation of David Levy; helps negotiate Wye River accord.
1999 — Netanyahu resigns as Likud Party leader and appoints Sharon as caretaker. Sharon later wins the position outright in a party vote.
July 2000 — Prime Minister Ehud Barak is left without a parliamentary majority when the Shas, National Religious Party and Yisrael Ba’Aliyah parties leave the government over the Camp David summit.
Sept. 28, 2000 — Palestinian riots erupt following Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
December 2000 — Barak’s resignation forces new elections for prime minister. Sharon becomes the Likud Party candidate.