Israel accepts the apology of the Rev. Pat Robertson for implying that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was struck down by God for giving up the Gaza strip, Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said Friday. After Robertson's written letter to the Sharon family, Ayalon said, "Israel respects Rev. Robertson and accepts his apology, which reflects his true friendship and support for the state of Israel. In a letter dated Wednesday and marked for hand delivery to Omri Sharon, the prime minister's son, Robertson called Sharon a "kind, gracious and gentle man" who was "carrying an almost insurmountable burden of making decisions for his nation." "My concern for the future safety of your nation led me to make remarks which I can now view in retrospect as inappropriate and insensitive in light of a national grief experienced because of your father's illness," said the letter. Sharon suffered a devastating stroke January 4 and remained in critical, but stable condition in a hospital.