Benjamin Netanyahu
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'The state of Israel bows its head'

As Israel begins a short period of mourning for ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israeli premier Benjamin Natanyahu pays tribute to ''a courageous fighter''.

Israelis are beginning a short period of mourning for ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who has died aged 85 of heart failure after eight years in a coma.

The public will pay their respects when his body lies in state on Sunday before a private burial on Monday.

Israeli and world figures have paid tribute to a man who fought in four major wars before taking to the political stage.

Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Natanyahu, paid tribute to ''a courageous fighter and an outstanding general''.