The 85-year-old Sharon had been in a coma at the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv for eight years after suffering a stroke in 2006.
Despised by Arabs for his hardline policies, Sharon was respected by Israelis for his military prowess and patriotism.
Sharon, Israel’s controversial 11th prime minister, earned the nickname “The Bulldozer” early in his career because of his reputation for stopping at nothing.
Sharon would have turned 86 next month. His family gathered at the hospital to be with him in his final moments. His sons Omri and and Gilad had been by his side since his condition deteriorated on January 1.