Ariel Sharon - milestones of his career in Israeli politics

Ariel Sharon's career in Israel's military and politics has had several milestones, along with many spectacular falls.
Israeli security officials guard then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon, centre, as he leaves the Temple Mount compound in East Jerusalem's Old City, in September 2000. Sharon's career in Israeli politics has seen many successes, controversies and spectacular falls from power. (Eyal Warshavsky/Associated Press)

Feb. 27, 1928: Ariel Scheinermann is born in Kfar Malal, a town in Palestine, then a British mandate, to a German-Polish father and a Russian mother.

1942: Sharon joins the Haganah, an underground militia that precedes the Israeli Defence Forces.

May 14, 1948: The State of Israel is proclaimed.

1948-49: Sharon commands a platoon during the Arab-Israeli war. He is severely wounded in one of the battles but recovers from his injuries. Sharon is promoted to company commander.

1949: Armistice is declared and Israel controls three-quarters of the former Palestine. Jordan takes the West Bank and Egypt holds the Gaza Strip. Palestinians take no land.

1953: After time spent studying history and Middle Eastern culture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Sharon returns to military service. With the rank of major, he leads a group of special operations troops called "Unit 101," which gains a reputation for carrying out missions across enemy lines.

Oct. 14, 1953: More than 60 Jordanian civilians are killed in an attack on the village of Qibya in the West Bank. Sharon and his Unit 101 are condemned for the extent of casualties. Later investigation finds that the order for the attack came from one of Sharon's superiors. Unit 101 is merged with a brigade of paratroopers.

This photo of Sharon was taken in 1966, when he was an Israeli army colonel. (Reuters)
1956: Sharon, now in command of the brigade, takes over the Mitla Pass during a battle of the Suez War that leaves 40 Israeli troops dead. Sharon fields criticism from all sides for his military strategy.

June 1967: Sharon, having earned a law degree from Tel Aviv University and now holding the rank of brigadier general, leads a powerful division into the Six-Day War. Israel captures East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

1969: Sharon is appointed to head the southern command of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

1973: Sharon retires from the military and is elected to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, as part of the right-wing Likud party.

Oct. 6, 1973: At the start of the Yom Kippur War, Sharon resigns from the Knesset and is called back to military service to command a reserve division that later captures a part of the Suez Canal.

1974: Sharon's strategy is again called into question, this time before a military tribunal. Although the tribunal rules his military action effective, his decisions at Suez were in violation of his orders from the head of the IDF's southern command. Amid growing tension between Sharon and the southern command, he is dismissed from military duty.

1975: Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin makes Sharon his special security adviser.

1977: Sharon is re-elected to the Knesset.

1977-81: Prime Minister Menachem Begin appoints Sharon minister of agriculture.

1981-1983: Sharon serves as Begin's minister of defence. In 1982, Israel invades Lebanon in a strike that results in the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Several hundred Palestinians living in two Beirut refugee camps are killed in raids carried out by a Lebanese-Christian militia allied to Israel. A committee investigating the massacre recommends the removal of Sharon as minister of defence for reasons of negligence. Sharon is dismissed by Begin but maintains his Knesset position in the governments that follow.

In this 1982 photo, Sharon is seen visiting the Suez Canal area in Egypt with his wife, Lily, and their son. (Moshe Milner/Reuters)

1987: Time magazine publishes a story implicating Sharon in the Beirut massacre. Sharon sues the magazine for libel. Although Time could not prove its allegations, Sharon loses the suit because he is unable to prove "knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth."

1996-1998: Sharon serves in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government as minister of national infrastructure.

1998-1999: Netanyahu makes Sharon his foreign minister. After the election of Ehud Barak's Labour party, Sharon takes leadership of the Likud party.

Sept. 28, 2000: Sharon goes to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is a sacred site for both Jews and Muslims. His visit sparks fighting between Israelis and Palestinians that escalates into the second intifada. The renewed violence damages Prime Minister Barak's popularity.

October 2000: Barak proposes a coalition government. Sharon rejects the offer.

2001: Sharon is elected prime minister of Israel. Relatives of the victims of the Beirut massacre begin proceedings in Belgium to have Sharon indicted for war crimes.

June 2002: A Brussels appeal court dismisses the lawsuit as inadmissible.

Jan. 20, 2004: Israeli courts charge developer David Appel with attempting to bribe the government via Gilad Sharon, the prime minister's son and an employee of Appel's property development firm.

Nov. 20, 2005: Ariel Sharon leaves the Likud party, calls for the dissolution of parliament and forms a new centrist party, Kadima (meaning "forward" in English).

Jan. 4, 2006: Sharon suffers a serious stroke, less than three weeks after having a minor one. His powers as prime minister are transferred to Deputy Prime Minister EhudOlmert.

Jan. 2, 2014: After Sharon lies in a coma for eight years, the director of the hospital where he is being treated says the former prime minister is in critical condition and his life is in danger.