After a new brain scan showed improvement, doctors at Hadassah Hospital make plans to awaken Sharon from medically-induced coma on Monday, reports the Jerusalem Post.

(JTA) The leaders of Israel’s Labor and Likud parties said they would not engage in politics during Ariel Sharon’s hospitalization. Benjamin Netanyahu, head of Israel's Likud Party, said Thursday he was not reaching out to members of Sharon’s Kadima party seeking their return to Likud, although Israeli media reported that Netanyahu's aides were doing just that. Netanyahu also postponed plans to withdraw Likud members from the Israeli Cabinet. Labor head Amir Peretz also said he had postponed campaigning while Sharon’s life was in the balance.

(JTA) Condoleezza Rice canceled an overseas tour because of concerns about Ariel Sharon’s health. The U.S. secretary of state was scheduled to leave this weekend for Indonesia and Australia. The Israeli prime minister suffered a massive stroke Wednesday, and has been in an induced coma since. Concerns over Sharon’s health led Rice to change her plans to stay in Washington and maintain contact with Israel. Rice spoke on Friday with Ehud Olmert, Sharon’s deputy, who is serving as acting prime minister in Sharon's absence.

(JTA) Families of American victims of terrorism sued a British bank for providing services to Hamas. The lawsuit, filed Friday, alleges that National Westminster Bank, Plc., channeled tens of millions of dollars to Hamas by taking online contributions for the terrorist group via Mastercard and Visa. The bank allegedly allows Interpal, deemed a global terrorist organization by the United States in 2003, to access banking services. "America can’t allow banks to do business in this country while providing financial services to Specially Designated Global Terrorists overseas," said Gary Osen, a lead counsel for the families. "When it passed the Anti-Terrorism Act, Congress recognized the threat posed by terrorism financing and it enacted legislation to prevent exactly this kind of alleged conduct." Separately, the family members filed suit against Credit Lyonnais, saying the French banking company maintains accounts for CBSP, another terrorist group with ties to Hamas.

(JTA) A White House spokesman called Pat Robertson's comments about Ariel Sharon’s stroke "wholly inappropriate and offensive." Spokesman Trent Duffy responded Friday to the Christian leader's suggestion that the Israeli prime minister, who suffered a massive stroke Wednesday, was being punished by G-d for dividing the Land of Israel by evacuating Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip last summer. "I think those comments were wholly inappropriate and offensive, and really don’t have a place in this or any other debate," Duffy said onboard Air Force One on Friday. Robertson's remarks have been repudiated by a range of religious leaders, as well as Israel's ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon.


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