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Sunday, December 18, 2005

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel's Sharon taken to hospital

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel's Sharon taken to hospital Israel's Sharon taken to hospital
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been taken to hospital and is being tested to see if he has had a stroke.

He lost consciousness while being driven home from work on Sunday night and was driven to Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital, reports say.

Hospital officials say the prime minister is conscious and that his condition is not life-threatening.

The portly 77-year-old is not known to have had serious health problems in recent years.

Leading neurologists have been asked to come to the hospital, Israeli television reports.

Other Israeli politicians have been wishing him well.

The Prime Minister's office said he had complained of feeling unwell before he was taken to hospital.

A security cordon was reportedly placed around the hospital before he arrived.

Elections looming

The veteran Israeli politician, who has been prime minister since 2001, recently announced he was leaving the right-wing Likud party he helped found.

He has drawn supporters from both right and left for his new party, Kadima (Forward).

Polls suggest Kadima will come out on top in new elections scheduled for March.

Mr Sharon's health scare came from out of the blue, the BBC's Matthew Price says, but the life of the Israeli leader is a stressful one.

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