The condition of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has worsened "in the past few days" and he is now suffering from kidney failure, according to the hospital that is treating him.
The 85-year-old has been in a coma since January 4 2006, after having a major stroke at the height of his political career.
He has been in a vegetative state for the past eight years at the long-term care facility at Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv, where he has been fed through a tube.
Mr Sharon’s health has fluctuated during his time in hospital. Last January, an MRI scan revealed encouraging brain activity, after he responded to family photos and recordings of his son’s voice.
His family are reportedly by his bedside.