http://gdb.rferl.org/147F49B6-1E2D-4DF4-9226-7C09B3AB41C2_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/147F49B6-1E2D-4DF4-9226-7C09B3AB41C2_mw800_mh600.jpg
Hospital director Shlomo Mor-Yosef, speaks to reporters outside the Jerusalem hospital where the prime minister is being treated (epa)
5 January 2006 -- Israeli doctors say Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is unlikely ever to return to work, following hours of surgery for a massive brain hemorrhage.
The director of Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital, Shlomo Mor-Yosef, made his comments to reporters today in Jerusalem.
"Mr. Sharon is under sedation, anesthesia and ventilation. This is the main treatment he receives and the purpose of this treatment is to reduce the intra-cranial pressure in the prime minister's brain. This treatment will last for the next 48 to 72 hours."
Mor-Yosef added that Sharon's brain appears to be functioning normally and that he is not in a vegetative state.
After the sedation period, doctors hope to gradually waken the 77-year-old, who suffered the stroke last night.
It came just two months before Sharon was to run for reelection as head of a new centrist party.
The Israeli Cabinet convened an emergency meeting with Sharon's deputy, Ehud Olmert, who is acting prime minister.