Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90
Staff members of Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat seen at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem on October 19, 2020. Erekat is hospitalized at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital after being infected with COVID-19.

The family of Palestine Liberation Organization secretary-general Saeb Erekat was reportedly asked to “come and say goodbye” on Monday, hours after his condition deteriorated and became critical, according to a report by Israel Hayom.

It was not possible to confirm the report with independent sources.

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Saeb Erekat’s condition at Hadassah Hospital Deteriorating: Critical, Anesthetized and Ventilated

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah faction claimed in a tweet that “the transfer of Saeb Erekat to Hadassah Medical Center (in Jerusalem) has nothing to do with him contracting coronavirus, but rather to complications related to a lung transplant he underwent three years ago.

“The hospital was chosen since it is the closest one (to Ramallah) with the right equipment and team needed for the treatment,” he wrote. “Erekat was transferred to Hadassah Medical Center because a treatment abroad is not possible during the pandemic.”

On Monday evening, a hospital spokesperson said Erekat was “ventilated on high concentration of oxygen and on nitric oxide gas and is in the prone position. He has received concentrated convalescent plasma with high levels of anti-COVID antibodies. We have consulted with specialists from Tel Aviv, New York and Washington. Prognosis remains very guarded.”

Outraged Families of Terror Victims Protest Hadassah Hospital COVID-19 Treatment for PLO’s Saeb Erekat

Outraged families of terror victims and activists demonstrated earlier in the day outside Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center to protest the VIP treatment given to Erekat, who is critically ill with COVID-19. Members of the ‘Choose Life Forum’ and the Im Tirtzu movement pointed out that a top Palestinian Authority politician, albeit in critical condition, is being treated as well or possibly better than the average Israeli citizen.

The fact that the hospital is located in Jerusalem was altogether hidden by the Palestinian Authority Negotiations Affairs Department which wrote that Erekat was taken to a hospital in Tel Aviv — but was forced to correct the blatant lie an hour later.

The move month’s ago by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to cut ties with Israel and the United States was clearly a case of painting one’s country into a corner with no way out but to jump out the window. In this case, Abbas begged for Israel to at least catch his friend when he was forced to throw him out the window.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.