Transcript for Ariel Sharon Dead at 85
Also overseas this evening, the passing of a world leader. Former israeli prime minister ariel sharon. He was a warrior and a statesman, who spent the last eight years hospitalized and in a coma. Abc's alex marquardt looks back tonight. Reporter: Ariel sharon made his name as a cunning military commander. He was also found responsible for allowing christian militants in beirut, in 1982, to slaughter hundreds of palestinian refugees. As a politician, sharon was a right-wing hawk. The father of the settlement movement. But in august 2005, a move that stunned the country. Sharon ordered 10,000 israeli settlers out of the gaza strip. Allies on the right labeled him a traitor. A democratic palestinian state -- Reporter: Ever a tactician, sharon saw a peace deal as vital for israel's future. But in january 2006, sharon had a massive stroke, putting him in a vegetative state for eight years. His sons say his eyes would open and he would move his fingers when asked to. There is, perhaps, no israeli that provoked more conflicting emotions than sharon. Alex marquardt, abc news, beirut.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.