During the course of his hospitalization, he obtained intensive therapies, together with a heart-lung machine (ECMO) and drug therapies offered by top specialists on the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, the place he had been hospitalized since October 18.

“Fatah mourns its great national son, Dr. Saeb Erekat,” a social media publish by his occasion Fatah learn. “The president, leadership and government are mourning Dr. Saeb Erekat,” a banner on Palestine TV learn.

“Our father moved in peace after he showed extraordinary strength and will, the same determination that characterized his career to achieve freedom for Palestine and a just peace in our region,” Erekat’s daughter, Dala Iraqat, mentioned in a Facebook publish. “And his commandment to us all is to adhere to the rights of the Palestinian people until they achieve freedom and independence.”

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab referred to as Erekat a “champion of dialogue and Palestinian rights.”

“I am saddened to hear the news of his tragic passing. My thoughts are with his family and the Palestinian people at this difficult time,” Raab tweeted.

Prominent member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, Hanan Ashrawi, mentioned Erekat’s dying marked a “significant transition in Palestinian history and reality.”

“He was firmly committed to his people’s rights, unwavering in his pursuit of a just peace, & totally undaunted in his quest for freedom & rights. Rest in peace & power my friend,” Ashrawi tweeted.

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni mentioned that Erekat despatched her a message whereas he was unwell, saying, “I’m not finished with what I was born to do.”

“My deepest condolences to the Palestinians and his family. He will be missed,” she tweeted. Other Israeli officers additionally eulogized Erekat. Nitzan Horowitz, chief of the leftist Meretz occasion, recalled that he and the Palestinian negotiator “argued a lot, but despite his frustration with the situation he never abandoned his adherence to the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine. Rest in peace, peace will be your Will.”

One of essentially the most distinguished Palestinian politicians of the previous couple of a long time, Erekat was a significant a part of negotiations between the Palestinian officers and Israel throughout intensive peace course of negotiations within the 1990s.

He served as deputy head of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991, because the administration of President George H.W. Bush pushed ahead efforts to advance a decision to the decades-old Arab-Israeli battle.

Erekat famously confirmed up carrying a black and white keffiyeh, a Palestinian nationwide image, seen as an act of defiance towards Israel, which refused on the time to barter with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The reluctant Israeli negotiating staff in Madrid thought-about him a hard-liner whose appointment alone may scuttle the talks.

But the Israelis would meet him many times in successive negotiations. As the 2 sides tried to construct on the breakthrough Oslo Accords of the mid-1990s, Erekat turned the chief Palestinian negotiator, a place he would maintain on-and-off till his passing.

He turned a well-known face on information broadcasts, with a well-known message. Speaking on CNN in 2001, reverse Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s spokesman, he mentioned, “Please, let us stop scoring points, let us stop finger-pointing. Let us go to sanity, wisdom and courage and come back to the negotiating table immediately with no conditions whatsoever, because at the end of the day, we have recognized the state of Israel’s existence. It is up to you to take the high ground and come back to the negotiating table.”

He earned the respect of some Israelis with whom he negotiated, together with former Israeli diplomat and negotiator Alon Pinkas, who praised Erekat’s rules whereas questioning his capability to implement them. “Saeb Erekat has been a man of peace, and a man I trust, and a man that I can respect. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Saeb Erekat does not call the shots. He doesn’t make the decisions.”

Direct negotiations

Born in Jerusalem and educated within the United States and the United Kingdom, Erekat turned a member of the Fatah occasion, and was near its charismatic founder and chief Yasser Arafat. From Oslo onwards, he advocated direct negotiations in the direction of a two-state answer. Deeply distrustful of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Erekat centered most of his criticism in later years on the person who would develop into Israel’s longest-serving chief.

In 2018, following Netanyahu’s deal with to the United Nations General Assembly, Erekat mentioned, “His speech further exposes Israel’s systematic denial of our right to exist, to live in freedom and to celebrate our national identity. The reality on the ground in occupied Palestine is a manifestation of what Israel is: A colonial-apartheid state… For the Israeli government, not only the issues of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees are off the table, but also Palestine’s very existence.”

Erekat believed Netanyahu had no intention of creating the concessions needed for the creation of an unbiased Palestinian state, a place strengthened by the arrival of President Donald Trump. The Trump administration’s plan for Middle East peace required few concessions from the Israelis whereas demanding sweeping concessions from the Palestinians.

“What we hear about Jerusalem being Israel’s capital, dropping the refugee issue, security, borders, it cannot be called the Deal of the Century,” Erekat advised CNN’s Becky Anderson in January. “It is the fraud and the hoax of the century.”

“This is the most unfair game we’ve ever witnessed in international relations,” he added. “Somebody who is trying to determine my future, my aspiration, my tomorrow, my grandchildren’s tomorrow — without even bothering to consult me — because he wants Netanyahu to win the election and he wants to win the election in 2020, that’s the most ridiculous chapter.”

It was a troublesome time for Erekat. Diplomats and journalists who met him within the early weeks of 2020 discovered him emotionally drained, reflecting on a way of non-public failure, typically even near tears as he tried once more to argue the Palestinian trigger.

Months later, when the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain introduced a significant reversal of Arab coverage, normalizing relations with Israel whatever the lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian battle, Erekat discovered himself and the PLO as soon as extra on the surface trying in.

“The UAE and Bahrain are contributing to Trump’s presidential campaign at the expense of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine,” Erekat posted on his Twitter account.

And but regardless of these challenges, Erekat remained to the top a ubiquitous presence in worldwide boards and media, persevering with to insist on the significance of a two-state answer to the Israeli-Palestinian battle, even because it appeared to slide additional down the precedence checklist of Western nations and the Arab world.

It was the mission with which he would develop into inextricably linked, regardless of the dwindling chance of its imminent realization. But he by no means relented, seeing no different paths to peace for the tens of millions of Israelis and Palestinians throughout the area.

CNN’s Abeer Salman contributed to this report.

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