Saeb Erakat, the senior PLO leader, has isolated himself in his squatted house in the West Bank after testing positive for COVID-19.

Long-time Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, it said in a statement on Thursday.

A statement by the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization on Twitter said Erekat, one of the most prominent Palestinian leaders on the world stage, was “infected with COVID-19.”

The PLO “wishes him a speedy recovery,” she added.

The PLO Executive Committee Secretariat and NAD announce that Dr Saeb Erekat, PLO SG and Head of Negotiation, has been infected with COVID-19 and wishes him a speedy recovery. We apologize for the cancellation of all of his appointments pending his full recovery.

– DR. Saeb Erakat (@ErakatSaeb) October 8, 2020

Erekat is reportedly isolated at his home in the West Bank city of Jericho and has mild coronavirus symptoms.

However, due to his medical history, which includes surviving a minor heart attack in 2012 and a lung transplant in 2017, there is a high risk of complications.

Erekat had met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas just a few days ago, but all officials who attended the meeting were tested and found negative, Palestinian media reported.

The 65-year-old has been a key figure in Palestinian politics for decades and is often the main interlocutor for foreign envoys and the international media.

He has consistently spoken out in favor of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Erekat, who was born in Jerusalem, is the general secretary of the PLO and continues to be strongly represented in the inner circle of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The occupied West Bank has recorded more than 39,500 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 335 deaths.


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