One of the closest associates of the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the chief Palestinian negotiator with Israel and other foreign countries Saeb Erekat died after being infected with the coronavirus COVID-19 at the age of 65, reports The Times of Israel on Tuesday.
Erekat was infected with coronavirus in October. First, he was treated at home for several days, and his daughter took care of him. Then he was hospitalized at the Israeli Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The cause of death of the diplomat was complications caused by the coronavirus.
In the past, Erekat had a heart attack, lung transplantation surgery, suffered from fibrosis.
Biography of Erekat
Erekat was born in 1955 in Abu Dis, a small town near Jerusalem. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of San Francisco in the United States, followed by a doctoral degree from Bradford in the UK. He then returned to the West Bank, where he began teaching political science at Al Najah National University in Nablus.
Saeb Erekat was a member of the Palestinian Fatah movement and a confidant to its leader, Yasser Arafat, after his death became an assistant to his successor, Mahmoud Abbas. Erekat is considered one of the “architects” of the Oslo Accords, signed by the Israeli and Palestinian sides in the early 1990s. He was one of the supporters of negotiations with Israel and believed that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict had no military solution.
After the negotiations reached an impasse, Erekat continued to represent Palestinian diplomacy in the world and highlight the Palestinian position on a given issue. In particular, he, like many other Palestinian representatives, sharply criticized the plan proposed by the US President Donald Trump’s administration. In his opinion, Trump’s plan deprived the Israelis of the incentive to sit down at the negotiating table with the Palestinians.