Photo Credit: Amir Levy / Flash 90
Saeb Erekat, Palestine Liberation Organization

According to Sunday afternoon reports from the Palestinian Authority, the health of PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat who contracted the coronavirus has deteriorated and he is now in serious condition. The Palestinian Authority reportedly turned to Israel and asked that Erekat be transferred to an Israeli hospital for emergency treatment. At this time the request is under consideration.

The PA requested that Israel to transfer Erekat from his home in Jericho to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, where he would receive prompt medical treatment.

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The 65-year-old Erekat is in a particularly high-risk group, having undergone a lung transplant in the United States three years ago.

Before the operation in Virginia, Erekat was treated at an Israeli hospital and was scheduled to undergo the lung transplant there. But the plan raised much criticism in Ramallah and Erekat changed his mind and continued his treatment in the United States, where he underwent the surgery in October 2017.

A senior source in Ramallah who is close to Erekat said last week that the PA was investigating when Erekat had been infected and from whom, and if he had recently been in the vicinity of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“We are now doing all the tests to understand who was in contact with him and whether he was near the chief or near people who are with the chairman during much the day,” the senior official told Israel Hayom, adding, “This is not a simple situation. Many in the circle close to Abbas will go into isolation.”

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