Key Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat dies of Covid-19
Saeb Erekat, one of the most prominent Palestinian political figures, has died from COVID-19, according to official reports. Erekat was 65 and passed away at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem after being admitted in October and diagnosed with the virus. Erekat was responsible for leading Palestinians in peace talks with Israel for many years, as well as negotiating the Oslo Accords in 1993. The Oslo Accords created the Palestinian Authority and allowed Palestinians to exercise limited self-governance in regions such as the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared three days of national mourning to commemorate Erekat’s death. Abbas called the death a “great loss for Palestine and our people.” Erekat announced on October 8 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and faced worsening symptoms over the next several days until he was transferred to a hospital in Israel. Erekat had a weakened immune system due to a lung transplant that occurred three years ago.