PLO's Erekat on ventilator with COVID-19, Israeli hospital says

Credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, hospitalised in Israel with COVID-19, was placed on a ventilator on Monday after his condition deteriorated, a spokeswoman for the facility said.

JERUSALEM, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, hospitalised in Israel with COVID-19, was placed on a ventilator on Monday after his condition deteriorated, a spokeswoman for the facility said.

Erekat was rushed to Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center on Sunday from his home in the occupied West Bank. He contracted the coronavirus on Oct. 8.

Erekat, 65, is considered especially vulnerable to the illness because he underwent a lung transplant in the United States in 2017, which suppressed his immune system.

"Mr. Erekat had a quiet night but this morning his condition deteriorated, and it is now defined as critical," a statement from Hadassah spokeswoman Hadar Elboim said.

"Due to respiratory distress, he was put on a ventilator and placed in a medically induced coma," it added.

The statement said Erekat was also being treated for a bacterial infection.

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

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 Roleen Tafakji and Rami Ayyub; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Christopher Cushing)

((Rami.Ayyub@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More