"The story of Ariel Sharon’s life was very much the story of the state of Israel from his birth in Kfar Malal twenty years before Israel was established, to fighting in the Six Days war of 1967, to his service as Prime Minister from 2001-06," Cruz said in a statement. "He experienced enormous struggle and adversity, but persevered in the defense of the nation he loved."
"Israel has lost a great warrior and the United States has lost a great friend. May he rest in peace," he said.
Sharon, who was a part of the generation that founded Israel and defended it in its earliest days, had been comatose for nearly a decade. He passed away at the age of 85.