Erekat's death a 'huge loss' for the Palestinians, says Abbas

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas laments the death of PA's top negotiator, Saeb Erekat, as a result of coronavirus infection.

Arutz Sheva Staff, AFP ,

Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat
Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas mourned the death of his "friend" Saeb Erekat on Tuesday, describing the death of the veteran Palestinian Authority negotiator from Covid-19 complications as
a "huge loss" for his people.

"The departure of a brother and a friend, of the great fighter, Dr. Saeb Erekat, is a great loss for Palestine and our people, and we are deeply saddened," Abbas said in a statement shortly after Erekat's death was announced.

Erekat, who was 65 at the time of his death, was the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and also served as a member of the Palestinian Authority legislature, representing Jericho.

For decades, he served as the PA's top negotiator, and was closely involved in the Olso Accords which established the PA.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem announced that Erekat had died from complications stemming from a coronavirus infection.

"Saeb Erekat passed away in the hospital's intensive care unit," Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital said in a statement Tuesday.

"Mr. Erekat, who was transferred to the hospital three weeks ago Sunday, on 18 October, was a lung transplantee infected with coronavirus. He was treated in his home in Jericho and arrived at the hospital in critical condition, requiring immediate ventilation and resuscitation treatments."

"During the course of his hospitalization, he received intensive treatments that included a heart lung machine (ECMO) and drug treatments provided by Hadassah's top specialists."

"Unfortunately, his condition did not improve and remained critical, and he passed away following multi-organ failure."