Senior PLO Official Saeb Erekat, Hospitalized in Israel With COVID-19, in Critical Condition

Saeb Erekat, who contracted the coronavirus earlier this month, was stable Sunday night after he was transferred to an Israeli hospital, but he is now anesthetized and on a ventilator

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Dr. Saeb Erekat in Ramallah, 2019.
Dr. Saeb Erekat in Ramallah, 2019.Credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/Reuters
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The health of Dr. Saeb Erekat, the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, has deterioriated Monday morning and he is now a critical condition, says Hadassah Medical Center.

Dr. Erekat was transferred to an intensive care unit at the Israeli hospital Sunday night and is anesthetized and on a ventilator.

Haaretz Podcast: Why is Israel arming Azerbaijan against Armenia? Listen to Yossi MelmanCredit: Haaretz

His treatment, the hospital said, is a "huge challenge" because he underwent a lung transplant three years ago and has a "weakened immune system and bacterial infection in addition to coronavirus."

The senior Palestinian statesman, who is 65-years-old, was transferred from his home in the West Bank to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem near Jerusalem on Sunday "in light of his infection with the coronavirus and his underlying health conditions," a statement from his office said.

He announced about a week and a half ago that he was diagnosed with coronavirus, and had been staying at his home in Jericho ever since. In an interview with Palestinian television before the transplant, he said of the difficulties of the disease: "I need oxygen. I can not go and wait every day for a lung transplant. I gave my destiny to God." He added, "I can not say I am not afraid and I am not afraid, and I hope he will help me. If God decides otherwise and he wants to take my soul, then I am ready too."

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op