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Israeli hospital says former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon fighting for his life

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Zeev Rotstein, the director of Tel Hashomer hospital where the comatose former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is being treated, informs the media about Sharon's health condition at the hospital near Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. Rotstein says the former prime minister's already critical medical condition is deteriorating further and his life remains in danger. The 85-year-old Sharon has been in a coma for eight years after a devastating stroke incapacitated him at the peak of his political power. He was reported in "critical condition" Thursday. Rotstein says "there is a slow and gradual deterioration," with doctors now seeing not only Sharon's kidneys but other vital organs malfunctioning as well. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty) (The Associated Press)

The head of the Israeli hospital treating Ariel Sharon says he is pessimistic about the former prime minister's prognosis, despite doctors' success in stabilizing some of his bodily functions.

Dr. Zeev Rotstein, director of the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, said Sunday that doctors had managed to stabilize Sharon's circulatory system over the weekend. But Rotstein said there is no improvement in Sharon's kidney function or with other vital organs that have been slowly declining since last week.

The doctor called Sharon's condition critical and life-threatening.

The 85-year-old Sharon has been in a coma for eight years after a devastating stroke incapacitated him at the peak of his political power.

Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic and controversial figures.