Photo Credit: Amir Levy/Flash 90
Saeb Erekat

Dr. Salam Erekat, the daughter of PLO secretary-general Saeb Erekat, and who is also a physician, said in an update Wednesday night that her father underwent a bronchoscopy. Erekat, hospitalized at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in critical condition with COVID-19, had a lung transplant three years ago. The past pulmonary condition and the transplant has complicated the clinical picture, leading to a weakened immune system and a bacterial infection in addition to the COVID-19, doctors said.

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“My father is still intubated and connected to the ECMO machine,” she said. “Today a Palestinian doctor from Jerusalem performed a bronchoscopy. We need a few days to see the results of the cultures taken today. Hopefully things will take a better way. Pray for my father. Thank you.”

On Tuesday, Erekat was connected to the ECMO (heart and lung machine) on Tuesday “to support the lung and prevent its damage,” his daughter said.

Erekat, who is the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as well as a high-ranking official in the Fatah central committee and the Palestinian Authority government, was ventilated on high concentration of oxygen and on nitric oxide gas and is in the prone position,” the hospital said Tuesday. “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.”

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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.