According to an exclusive report by the Hebrew-language news site HaKol HaYehudi, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, who suffers from pulmonary fibrosis, is back on the list of patients in Israel waiting for lung transplant donors.
Moreover, despite denials from Israel’s Ministry of Health, the “Lavie” organization reports that Erekat has met with families of potential lung donors within a hospital in Israel.
A document submitted by the Lavie organization to the Ministry of Health and the National Center for Transplants, and which was obtained by HaKol HaYehudi, stated, ““Information was received at our site that contrary to instruction in this matter, Saeb Erekat met with families of potential donors within the walls of the hospital, for the purpose of persuading them to donate the lungs of their loved ones to him.”
According to the report, the Ministry of Health denied that Erekat is on the waiting list, but did not address the claim that Palestinian Authority officials “are negotiating with Israeli health officials to advance Erekat’s need for a transplant.” Sources have alleged that Erekat was placed high on the list, despite not being an Israeli citizen.
“This patient is not on the National Center for Organ Transplants waiting list,” the office said in response to a query from HaKol HaYehudi. Regarding the report of a meeting between Erekat with potential donors, the Health Ministry replied: “We don’t know anything about such a meeting, or any others by this patient with [other] patients in the hospital system in Israel.”
The Lavie organization has rejected the denials by the Health Ministry, according to HaKol HaYehudi, claiming, “We received credible information about the conduct of the authorities on this matter, and we will disclose the evidence available to us, at the right time.”
HaKol HaYehudi reported that attempts to reach Erekat were unsuccessful as he was unavailable for comment.