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Tuesday , October 19 2021

Corona Virus ‘takes’ Palestine’s Saeb Erekat

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 10, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent, Tuesday, a cable of condolences to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, expressing sorrow over the death of former top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables. Erekat, a veteran peace negotiator and prominent international spokesman for the Palestinians for more than three decades, died on Tuesday, weeks after being infected by the coronavirus. He was 65.

The American-educated Erekat was involved in nearly every round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians going back to the landmark Madrid conference in 1991. Over the years, he was a constant media presence.

He tirelessly argued for a negotiated twostate solution to the decades-old conflict, defended the Palestinian leadership and blamed Israel – particularly hard-line leader Benjamin Netanyahu – for the failure to reach an agreement.

As a loyal aide to Palestinian leaders – first Yasser Arafat and then Mahmoud Abbas – Erekat clung to this strategy until his death, even as hopes for Palestinian statehood sank to new lows. In the weeks leading up to his death in an Israeli hospital, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain had normalized ties with Israel, breaking with the long-held Arab position that a deal on Palestinian statehood must precede normalization. Abbas and members of his inner circle, including Erekat, found themselves internationally sidelined and deeply unpopular among Palestinians.

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