Palestinians mourn Erekat

RAMALLAH: Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas declared a three-day mourning period following the death of top official Saeb Erekat, 65, on Tuesday. Erekat died following complications related to Covid-19, after contracting the virus last month.
He had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and a lung transplant in the US in 2017.
Erekat was one of the most visible Palestinian officials on the world stage and a top aide to President Mahmud Abbas. He served as the secretary general of the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
As his condition deteriorated, Erekat was transferred from his West Bank home town of Jericho to Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem in mid-October.
The Jerusalem hospital said in a statement that Erekat had died in the intensive care unit.
Palestinian flags will be flown at half-mast in honour of Erekat, Abbas said.
“The departure of our brother and friend, the great fighter, Doctor Saeb Erekat, represents a great loss for Palestine and our people, and we feel deeply saddened by his loss, especially in light of these difficult circumstances facing the Palestinian cause’’, said the president.
Abbas remembered Erekat as a “patriotic leader and the great fighter who played a big role in raising the banner of Palestine high and defending the rights of our people and their national constants in all international forums.” — DPA