Senior PLO official Erekat taken to hospital after COVID-19 condition worsens

By Ali Sawafta JERICHO, West Bank (Reuters) - Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Israel on Sunday for treatment of a worsening case of COVID-19, the Palestine Liberation Organization said. Witnesses said Erekat, 65, was on a stretcher when he was placed inside an Israeli ambulance outside his home in Jericho, in the occupied West Bank. Erekat, who is also secretary-general of the PLO, disclosed on Oct.

Reuters October 19, 2020 00:11:16 IST
Senior PLO official Erekat taken to hospital after COVID-19 condition worsens

COVID-19 condition worsens" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/10-2020/19/2020-10-18T125141Z_1_LYNXMPEG9H0AH_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-PALESTINIANS-EREKAT.jpg" alt="Senior PLO official Erekat taken to hospital after COVID19 condition worsens" width="300" height="225" />

By Ali Sawafta

JERICHO, West Bank (Reuters) - Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Israel on Sunday for treatment of a worsening case of COVID-19 , the Palestine Liberation Organization said.

Witnesses said Erekat, 65, was on a stretcher when he was placed inside an Israeli ambulance outside his home in Jericho, in the occupied West Bank. Erekat, who is also secretary-general of the PLO, disclosed on Oct. 8 that he had contracted coronavirus .

He was rushed to Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman said Erekat was in a serious but stable condition. He needed high-flow oxygen support and was being treated in an intensive care ward for coronavirus patients.

There is heightened concern over Erekat's vulnerability to the illness because he underwent a lung transplant in the United States in 2017.

"Following his contraction of COVID-19 , and due to the chronic health problems he faces in the respiratory system, Dr. Erekat's condition now requires medical attention in a hospital," the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department said in a statement.

A member of Fatah, the most powerful faction within the PLO, Erekat has been one of the most high-profile faces of the Palestinian leadership for decades, especially to international audiences.

Erekat is one of the most senior advisers to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and also served in top positions under Abbas' predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

His negotiating days date back to the earliest public negotiations with Israel in 1991 at the Madrid Conference during the presidency of George H.W. Bush, when Erekat was part of the PLO team.

A proponent of a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Erekat has been a leading Palestinian voice in opposing Israel's settlement policy in territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta, Adel Abu Nimeh and Rami Ayyub; Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Frances Kerry and Alexandra Hudson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.