Two Arab TV channels prematurely reported that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had died Thursday as Arab media competed with each other in coverage of the hospital condition of the Israeli leader.
The reports by Lebanon's Future Television and Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV were not confirmed by Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where Sharon was being treated. And the channels went back to reporting the latest medical bulletins on the ailing prime minister.
A politician and general widely despised among Arabs, Sharon received straightforward news coverage in most Arab papers and television services Thursday. While some commentators vaunted their criticism of the hawkish politician, other Arab analysts praised the man who ended Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip.