“They have lost an icon. Israel has lost one of its finest sons, and we and the Jewish world mourn with them,” the federation’s chairman Avrom Krengel said in a statement on Monday.
“As a politician, he was known as ‘the bulldozer’, determined to achieve what he set out to do irrespective of criticism or condemnation, but above all, Sharon will be remembered as a pivotal figure in Israel’s critical and fractured modern history.”
Sharon died in a hospital on Saturday at the age of 85. He had been in a coma since January 4, 2006, following a stroke.
Krengel described Sharon as a superb soldier and an outstanding general who had played crucial roles in four of Israel’s wars.
“[He] was a complicated, yet creative man, who sought constantly to bring about peace with security, but who was not given enough of a lifespan to fulfil his dream.”
The French news agency Agence France-Press reported that Sharon would be buried on Monday in a ceremony at his family’s Sycamore Ranch in the southern Negev desert, which lies a few miles from the northern border of the Gaza Strip.