Israelis mourn ex-leader Sharon
Israelis are beginning a short period of mourning for ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who has died aged 85 of heart failure after eight years in a coma.
The public will pay their respects when his body lies in state on Sunday before a private burial on Monday.
Israeli and world figures have paid tribute to a man who fought in four major wars before taking to the political stage.
But there was little sorrow among Palestinians who saw him as an enemy.
The head of the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv confirmed Sharon's death on Saturday afternoon, the Jewish Sabbath, more than a week after it emerged that his health was in decline.
Gilad Sharon, one of his two sons, said outside the hospital: "He has gone. He went when he decided to go."
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spoke of a leader "who dedicated his life to the state of Israel".
Israel's President Shimon Peres, a long-time friend and political rival who joined a unity government with Sharon in 2001, said he was "an exceptional man and an exceptional commander who moved his people and loved them and the people loved him".
Sharon, known as "The Bulldozer", was a giant of Israel's military and political scene whose term as prime minister ended abruptly when he had a major stroke that put him in a coma in January 2006.
Months before his stroke, he had guided Israelis through a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, with the declared aim of easing tensions with the Palestinians.
The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said he had shaped the current state of the West Bank and Israel's relations with the Palestinians more than any other Israeli politician in recent years.
He fought in Israel's war of independence in 1948, took part in Israel's invasion of the Sinai in 1956 and commanded an armoured division in the 1967 Middle East war.
In 1973, he led Israel's counter-attack against Arab armies across the Suez Canal, cutting off Egypt's 3rd Army.
But after Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 he was found to have been responsible by an Israeli inquiry of failing to prevent the massacre of Palestinians by Christian Phalangist militia in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
His reputation among Palestinians was such that, in the Gaza Strip, sweets were handed out in celebration of his death.
One senior official in the Fatah movement said he was a criminal whom Palestinians had wanted to see on trial.
Palestinian political figure Mustafa Barghouti said while no-one should gloat at his death, Sharon had taken "a path of war and aggression" and had left "no good memories with Palestinians".
Sharon's coffin will be placed at a plaza in front of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, in Jerusalem on Sunday to allow the public to pay their respects for six hours, from 12:00 (10:00 GMT) to 18:00 local time.
A ceremony will be held there on Monday morning, which international figures are to attend. US Vice-President Joe Biden will lead a US delegation and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is also expected to go.
A few hours later he will be buried in a private ceremony at his farm in the Negev desert. His family visited the farm, the Sycamore ranch, on Saturday afternoon, where his late wife Lily was laid to rest in 2000.
Ariel Sharon's death was celebrated in the Gaza Strip
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said Israel had lost "one of the most significant figures" in its history while French President Francois Hollande said that after a long military career, Sharon had "taken the choice to turn to dialogue with the Palestinians".
Ex-US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, a former secretary of state, said he "gave his life to Israel" and it was an honour to "work with him, argue with him and watch him always trying to find the right path for his beloved country".
Danny Ayalon, a former Israeli ambassador to the US under Sharon, said the late prime minister's decision to pull out of Gaza in 2005 had changed the political landscape and he was prepared to take creative steps towards a solution with the Palestinians.
But Hamas, Gaza's Islamist militant rulers since 2007, condemned him as a tyrant and said his death marked the "disappearance of a criminal whose hands were covered with Palestinian blood".