Saeb Erekat, Top Palestinian Peace Negotiator, Laid to Rest

'The Palestinian nation has lost a man who stood at the forefront of the struggle for rights for the Palestinian people,' Palestinian President Abbas said after Erekat's passing

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, in Ramallah, the West Bank, 2019.
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, in Ramallah, the West Bank, 2019.Credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN / REUTERS
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Dr. Saeb Erekat, a leading Palestinian peace negotiator and the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, will be laid to rest on Wednesday after succumbing to the coronavirus at the age of 65.

Erekat's body lay in state in the Palestinian Authority's Ramallah headquarters, or the Mukata, and was visited by members of the Palestinian leadership, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The funeral procession for Erekat later departed from Ramallah to his home city of Jericho, where a funeral and prayer service are being held. Erekat will be interred in the city's cemetery.

Following Erekat's passing on Tuesday, Abbas declared three days of mourning and the lowering of flags to half-mast. “The Palestinian nation has lost a man who stood at the forefront of the struggle for rights for the Palestinian people, fought in every local and international arena and brought the name of Palestine to every possible stage in the world,” Abbas said in a statement.

Erekat had tested positive for the coronavirus at the beginning of October. Later that month, he said he was suffering from “difficult” symptoms, but that things were “under control.” He was taken to the hospital after his condition deteriorated, and after a day, the Hadassah Medical Center said that his condition had worsened and was deemed critical. He was anesthetized and put on a ventilator.

Erekat died of multiple organ failure at the intensive care unit, said the Jerusalem hospital on Tuesday. The hospital offered condolences to Erekat’s family, loved ones and the Palestinian people.

Erekat has participated in every round of negotiations held between the Palestinian and Israeli governments since the tenure of late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

In recent years, Erekat, a veteran Palestinian statesman, focused mainly on holding talks with Arab and foreign representatives who visited Ramallah. He also accompanied President Abbas on his trips around the world. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, he did not leave the West Bank, and split his time between Ramallah and Jericho, where he lived with his wife and children.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Election ad featuring Yair Lapid in Rahat, the largest Arab city in Israel's Negev region.

This Bedouin City Could Decide Who Is Israel's Next Prime Minister

Dr. Claris Harbon in the neighborhood where she grew up in Ashdod.

A Women's Rights Lawyer Felt She Didn't Belong in Israel. So She Moved to Morocco

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

'It Was Real Shock to Move From a Little Muslim Village, to a Big Open World'

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister