Middle East

In quotes: Ariel Sharon

Israel's former Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has died at the age of 85.

Here are some of the key moments of the former soldier and veteran politician's long and controversial career in his own words.


Staying in Likud means wasting time in political squabbles rather than acting on behalf of the good of the country.

At a news conference announcing that he was leaving Likud to form a new political party, 21 November 2005


By the end of 2005 there will not be a single Jew left in the Gaza Strip.

Knesset foreign affairs and defence committee meeting, 2 June 2004


My disengagement plan... will improve Israel's security and economy and will reduce friction and tension between Israelis and Palestinians. My plan will create a new and better reality for the state of Israel. And it also has the potential to create the right conditions to resume negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Joint press conference with George W Bush, White House, 14 April 2004


If we [are to] reach a situation of true peace, real peace, peace for generations, we will have to make painful concessions. Not in exchange for promises, but rather in exchange for peace.

Quoted in Israeli newspaper Haaretz, 13 April 2003


In Lebanon, there was an agreement not to liquidate Yasser Arafat. In principle, I'm sorry that we didn't liquidate him.

In 2002, talking to the Israeli newspaper Maariv about the 1982 invasion of Lebanon


Barak does not have the right to give up Jerusalem, which the people received as a legacy.

After the July 2000 Camp David talks between US President Bill Clinton and the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak


I came here with a message of peace. I believe that we can live together with the Palestinians. I came here, to the holiest place of the Jewish people, in order to see what happens here and really to have the feeling of how we need to move forward. There was no provocation here: the provocation was only on the other side.

28 September 2000 after Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount - known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif - in Jerusalem. Palestinians rioted afterwards and the secondn intifada (uprising) ensued.


Everybody has to move, run and grab as many [Palestinian] hilltops as they can to enlarge the [Jewish] settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them.

As foreign minister, in comments broadcast on Israeli radio in November 1998


Not for a moment did we imagine that they [the Christian Phalange militia] would do what they did... They had received harsh and clear warnings. Had we for one moment imagined that something like this would happen, we would never have let them into the camp.


I'm the only minister of defence in the world - the only one - who left his post and went back to work on a tractor, on his farm, as a result of what Christians did to Muslims. The only one.

In 1993, after being forced to resign from his post as defence minister. An official Israeli Commission looking into the 1982 massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon had found Sharon responsible for failing to give suitable instructions to prevent or reduce the danger of a massacre before allowing the Lebanese militia into the camps.


I believe that the starting point for a solution is to establish a Palestinian state in that part of Palestine that was separated from what was to become Israel in 1922 and which is now Jordan.

Time magazine interview, 5 October 1981


Jews should live in and around every Arab population centre... Jews should not leave a single place where they don't live and have freedom of movement.


I believe if we establish these settlements, we will feel sufficiently secure to accept the risks for the sake of peace.

Sharon during the 1970s as a champion of settlement building.


The army is ready... to wipe out the Egyptian army. A generation will pass before Egypt threatens us again.

Sharon as a field commander arguing for war, 1967


While civilian deaths were a tragedy, the Qibya raid was also a turning point.... [It] was now clear that Israeli forces were again capable of finding and hitting targets far behind enemy lines. What this means to army morale can hardly be exaggerated.

From Sharon's autobiography Warrior. In 1953, Sharon's special army commando "Unit 101" blew up more than 40 houses in Qibya, a village in the West Bank, then ruled by Jordan. The raid, in which 69 Arabs died, was a reprisal for a Palestinian guerrilla attack. Sharon later said he thought the houses were empty.

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