HA’ARETZ 1. PM rushed to operating room following severe bleeding in his brain. SHARON FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE; AUTHORITY TRANSFERRED. The authority: Cab.-Secy. Yisrael Maimon and Atty-Gen. Mazuz decided to transfer authority to Olmert. The announcement: Hadassah Hospital Director – “PM has had significant stroke; he is under general anesthesia and is on respirator.” The medical situation: Sharon underwent brain surgery following severe bleeding, significant systems in his body damaged. The event: Sharon felt ill at 21:00. His doctor was summoned and decided to evacuate him to Hadassah. The deterioration: Sharon evacuated to hospital in ambulance, not helicopter. He reached Hadassah at 23:00. The questions: Why wasn’t he evacuated in helicopter? Did doctors; optimistic assessments prevent proper treatment? 2. STROKE EXPERT: CHANCES THAT SHARON WILL RETURN TO FUNCTION ARE SLIM. 3. AUTHORITY IS OLMERT’S. In event Sharon dies – President will have two weeks in which to choose MK to form government. 4. WHITE HOUSE: OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH HIM. Administration in Washington: “Our prayers and thoughts are with PM Sharon and his family.” HATZOFEH 1. Sharon rushed to hospital suffering from bleeding in his brain and at midnight was taken into operating room. PM’s authority transferred to Olmert. SHARON FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE. On eve of planned heart catheterization, which was planned for today, Sharon stricken with stroke. After being rushed to hospital, his situation sharply deteriorated and he was sent for complicated brain surgery. One of his aides: “Situation is difficult, we’re worried.” 2. FORMER YESHA COUNCIL CHMN. OTNIEL SHENDLAR JOINS KADIMA. 3. FISCHER: NATIONALIZATION AND PRIVATIZATION OF BANKS WAS NOT PROFITABLE. 4. SEVEN KASSAMS LAUNCHED AT SDEROT AND ZIKIM. MA’ARIV 1. Sharon suffering from bleeding in brain – situation critical. Acting PM: Ehud Olmert. FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE. Perhaps this is Sharon’s last battle. He was eating dinner last night with Gilad and his wife when he suddenly felt ill. His personal doctor ordered him taken to hospital – and Sharon was immediately taken into operating room. Doctors: He had additional stroke and several systems were damaged. 2. MEANWHILE: ELECTIONS TO BE HELD AS SCHEDULED. Majority of 80 MKs could decide on their postponement. 3. WHITE HOUSE: AMERICA IS WITH YOU. World leaders call to wish quick recovery. 4. PEOPLE IN SHARON’S BUREAU: EXPECTING A MIRACLE. All advisers tensely waiting outside operating room. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. 01:45 – PM fighting for his life. LAST BATTLE. With downcast face, hospital director delivered grim diagnosis: PM had significant stroke. Sharon had CT scan under general anesthesia and it became clear that he had massive bleeding in his brain. He was taken to operating room immediately. For hours, nation’s senior doctors tried to drain blood from PM’s brain. Experts estimate: Chances for recovery slim. 2. OLMERT – ACTING PM. Sharon’s authority transferred to Acting PM Ehud Olmert. ISA guards step up security around him. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Hatzofeh strongly criticizes a decision by a Holocaust victims support group to cut off services to thousands of elderly Holocaust survivors in Israel, ostensibly due to cuts in its funding from the Finance Ministry. Yediot Ahronot likens Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Kadima to former French President Charles DeGaulle and the political movement he founded in the late 1950’s. The editors evaluate the possible effects of the latest corruption allegations against Prime Minister Sharon.