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Thousands of Israelis — and a few Palestinians — filed solemnly past the casket of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday to pay their last respects to a provocative leader who forged his country’s legacy of independence amid a precarious Middle East existence. Sharon died early Saturday at age 85 following a massive stroke in 2006 that had left him in a coma. A funeral service is set for Monday, when Sharon will be buried on his farm in southern Israel.

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