Saeb Erekat, key Palestinian negotiator, dies at 65

By November 13 2020, 17:36 Latest News No Comments

Screen Shot 2020-11-13 at 17.28.27Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian diplomat who spent decades leading negotiations with Israel, has died at the age of 65 due to complications from Covid-19.

Mr Erekat was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital last month after several days of being treated by his daughter at his West Bank home.

He led successive Palestinian negotiations with Israel for decades, including talks that led to the signing of the 1993 and 1995 Oslo Accords, the first major peace deals between Israel and the Palestinians.

Mr Erekat sparked controversy, however, after propagating a false report that Israel had killed hundreds of Palestinians in a Jenin refugee camp in 2002 which received wide press coverage at the time.

A dominant figure in Palestinian politics for decades, he became secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 2015.

CFI Parliamentary Chairman (Commons) Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP said on Twitter that Mr Erekat was “always a generous host when we met in Ramallah and Jericho and open in his discussions with our CFI groups. He often spoke with warmth and pride of his family and home”.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning in the West Bank in response to Erekat’s passing. He called Erekat “a brother, a friend, and a great fighter”.

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