NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jewish groups and officials across New York praised the legacy of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon following his death Saturday.

Sharon, who was admired and hated for his battlefield exploits and ambitions to reshape the Middle East, died eight years after a stroke left him in a coma from which he never awoke. He was 85.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement Saturday commending Sharon’s dedication to public service.

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement that New Yorkers were mourning his death.

Both officials said New York has shared a special bond with Israel.

Rabbis, community leaders and others from various Jewish organizations said they plan to hold a memorial service in Brooklyn Sunday to commemorate Sharon’s life.

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