Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator and PLO leader, dies after signing a contract with COVID-19.

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The prominent Palestinian spokesman Saeb Erekat died after being infected with the corona virus, his Fatah party said. He was 65 years old.

Erekat was secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and chief negotiator in the U.S.-mediated peace talks with Israel that failed in 2014.

He was a vehement critic of Israel’s settlement policy on occupied land, which in his opinion undermined the chances of a viable Palestine.

Erekat held the title of Palestinian chief negotiator and was involved in almost every round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, dating back to the groundbreaking Madrid Conference in 1991.

On October 8, Erekat confirmed that he was infected with the corona virus. Three years ago he had a lung transplant in the United States, which suppressed his immune system.

Last week he was taken from his home in the city of Jericho on the West Bank to the Hadassah Medical Center in Israel and hooked up to a ventilator. He was then placed in a medically induced coma after his condition worsened, Reuters reported.

This is an evolving story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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