Former US envoy to the Middle East, Dennis Ross
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Ariel Sharon 'put the State first and politics second'

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died aged 85 after spending eight years in a coma following a stroke.

The head of the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv said he had died on Saturday afternoon of heart failure.

Former US envoy to the Middle East, Dennis Ross, pays tribute to Ariel Sharon, conceding that while he was a "controversial" political figure, Israel has "lost one of it's giants".

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