The Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saëb Erakat, infected with the new coronavirus, was hospitalized in an Israeli establishment. He “has been transferred to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem,” the PLO reported in a statement. And to specify:. “After contracting Covid-19 and due to chronic respiratory problems, Dr Erakat now requires medical follow-up in a hospital,” said the organization. “His condition is not good,” confirmed his brother Saber Erakat.
Suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, Saëb Erakat – one of the best known Palestinian figures abroad – underwent a lung transplant in an American hospital in 2017 before resuming his activities. The PLO announced on October 9 that the 65-year-old leader had been infected with the new coronavirus and that he was taking a break from his commitments given the circumstances.
Close to President Mahmoud Abbas, he participated, as chief negotiator on the Palestinian side, in numerous discussions within the framework of the peace process with Israel, which has now stalled. He has multiplied in recent weeks declarations against the normalization of relations between Israel and the Gulf countries, carried out without prior peace between the Palestinians and the Jewish state.
Since the start of the pandemic, 42,490 cases of coronavirus contamination – including 381 deaths – have been recorded in the West Bank, a territory occupied by Israel where 2.8 million Palestinians live. In the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas, about 4,650 cases have been officially recorded, including 27 deaths, out of two million Palestinians.