Ariel Sharon, 85, former Prime Minister of Israel, died Saturday.
Born Ariel Scheinermann, Feb. 26, 1928, in an agricultural village in northwest Palestine to the late Shmuel and Vera Scheinerman, he grew up to become a militarized youth intent on intimidating the Palestinians living in the area in which his family settled. He later joined the Haganah, a paramilitary group responsible for paving the way for Israel’s creation through human rights violations and war crimes.
Ariel’s military career took off by the mid-1940s and he quickly made a name for himself as an overly aggressive and insubordinate strategist. In 1953, Ariel led an attack against the village of Qibya, killing 69 Palestinians, most of them women and children. This would mark the first of many massacres drawn up by Ariel.
Following his massacres in Jenin, Sabra and Shatila, and everywhere in between, Ariel assumed the position of Prime Minister. His campaign involved setting off the Second Intifada by publicly declaring that Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, Muslim holy sites, would remain under Israeli control. In 2005, he pulled settlers out of the occupied Gaza Strip, only to push for settlement growth and greater land confiscation in the West Bank. He championed the apartheid wall and was instrumental in obstructing all international attempts to halt its construction.
Ariel suffered two strokes that ultimately left him in a coma in 2006. He died Jan. 11, 2014, after eight years in a coma. He was never formally tried for his roles in commanding massacres and appropriating Palestinian land.
Ariel is set to be buried Jan. 13 in the Naqab desert where, ironically, he has attempted countless times to bury entire villages and their indigenous populations.