Palestinian official Saeb Erekat taken to Israeli hospital after COVID-19 condition worsens

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat underwent a lung transplant in the United States in 2017. (Reuters/File)
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Updated 18 October 2020

Palestinian official Saeb Erekat taken to Israeli hospital after COVID-19 condition worsens

  • Erekat, 65, was taken on a stretcher from his home in Jericho into an Israeli ambulance

AMMAN: Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was rushed by ambulance to a hospital in West Jerusalem on Sunday after his COVID-19 infection suddenly worsened. 

Erekat, 65, secretary of the PLO’s executive committee, is being treated in the coronavirus intensive care unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, where his condition was described as serious but stable.
“He arrived in serious condition and needed support and high doses of oxygen,” the hospital said.
Earlier, Erekat had been carried to the Israeli ambulance on a stretcher from his home in the Khadiwey neighborhood of Jericho in the occupied West Bank. He was accompanied to the hospital by his son Ali and daughters Dalal and Salam, who is a doctor.

“Thank God, my father’s health is stable. He needs special medical care for lung transplanted patients, thank you for your prayers, may God protect us all,” Dalal said later on Twitter.

Erekat had a lung transplant in a US hospital in 2017. Family and friends were worried about his low-level immunity because of the surgery. He tested positive for the coronavirus 10 days ago.

Arsen Ostrovsky, a lawyer and political analyst in Israel, accused Erekat of hypocrisy for being treated in an Israeli hospital while the Palestinian Authority prevented ordinary Palestinians from doing so.

Palestinian officials dismissed the criticism as offensive and unjustified. “International law including the Hague and Geneva conventions requires an occupying power to provide medical support to the population under its control,” one said.

Erekat has been one of the most high-profile faces of the Palestinian leadership for decades, especially to international audiences. He is one of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s most senior advisers, and also held top positions under Yasser Arafat.


Palestinian official Erekat in critical, stable condition

Updated 46 min 8 sec ago

Palestinian official Erekat in critical, stable condition

  • Erekat was receiving artificial respiration in the intensive care unit at Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center
  • He was a senior adviser to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and current President Mahmoud Abbas

JERUSALEM: Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat remained in critical but stable condition in an Israeli hospital Tuesday, his family said, after he was infected with the coronavirus.
Erekat’s family told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA that he was receiving artificial respiration in the intensive care unit at Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center.
Erekat, 65, has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past several decades, serving as a senior negotiator in talks with Israel. He was also a senior adviser to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and current President Mahmoud Abbas.
He was hospitalized Sunday at the Jerusalem hospital despite the Palestinian leadership’s decision earlier this year to sever ties with Israel over plans to begin annexing parts of the occupied West Bank as part of President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan.
The hospital said Monday that Erekat’s case was extremely challenging in light of his history of health problems, including a lung transplant in 2017. It said he suffered from a weak immune system, and a bacterial infection in addition to COVID-19.