PA leader Saeb Erekat dies of COVID-19 in Israeli hospital

November 10, 2020 by TPS
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Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO’s Executive Committee and chief negotiator with Israel for the past 20 years died in an Israeli hospital on Tuesday after contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19) last month and after his health condition deteriorated.

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Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Erekat, 65, received a lung transplant in October 2017, which caused concern about his health after contracting the coronavirus disease.

He was admitted to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem at the beginning of October after filing an official request with the Israeli authorities.

Hadassah Hospital stated Tuesday that “during the period of his hospitalization, he received intensive treatment that included a connection to a cardiopulmonary heart machine and drug treatments by the best Hadassah specialists.”

“Unfortunately, his condition did not improve and remained critical, and with multi-systemic insufficiency, he passed away,” the hospital stated, saying that the “Hadassah team shares the grief of his family, loved ones, friends and the Palestinian people.”

Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas head eulogized Erekat as “a prominent academic who spent his life as a fighter and a hard negotiator defending Palestine, its cause, its people, and its independent national decision.”

“Our people will remember the deceased, Dr. Saeb Erekat, the son of Palestine, who stood at the forefront defending the causes of his homeland and his people in the fields of the national struggle and in the international arena,” he said.

He declared a mourning period of three days and ordered that the PA flags be flown at half-mast.

Israeli left-wing politicians mourned his death while those from the right said they were not sorry to see him go.

Member of Knesset (MK) Nitzan Horowitz, head of the extreme left-wing Meretz party, mourned Erekat as “a statesman, a man of peace…Erekat has always preferred the way of dialogue over violence and turned the vision of two states into the project of his life.”

Conversely, MK Ofir Sofer, of the right-wing Yemina party, pointed out that Erekat “praised terrorists, acted to boycott the State of Israel, and was one of the leaders of the Jenin massacre libel [in which IDF soldiers were falsely accused of massacring Palestinians in 2002]. How can you even say half a good word about him?”

He is survived by four children, Dalal, Salam, Ali, and Mohammad.



One Response to “PA leader Saeb Erekat dies of COVID-19 in Israeli hospital”
  1. Jan Poddebsky says:

    I usually respect the erudition and openness of Andrew West of ABC Radio National’s Religion and Ethics report but not his recent report on the deaths of Rabbi Sacks and Saeb Erekat. It is difficult to put these two men into the same sentence let alone the same moral universe and yet West’s report was doing just that. There was nothing two faced about Rabbi Sacks whose integrity and faithfulness were and are impeccable. He did not present one face to the world and another to his own community. He did not make terrorism a career choice with a graduated wage structure and present himself as a man of peace.
    Acknowledging the loss to his family and community of Erekat should not blinker Mr West to reality. It should also be mentioned that the BBC cancelled an interview it requested with Israeli parliamentarian, Sharren Haskel when she brought up Erekat’s support for terrorism against Israelans BDS etc.

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