Nov. 10 (UPI) — Saeb Erekat, probably the most distinguished names in Palestinian peace efforts over the previous 4 many years, died of COVID-19 on Tuesday. He was 65.

Erekat, who additionally served as a Palestinian spokesman and peace negotiator, died simply weeks after he was first recognized with the coronavirus. He’d beforehand had different medical illnesses, together with a lung transplant in 2017 whereas he fought a micro organism an infection and a weakened immune system.

“The departure of a brother and a buddy, of the good fighter, Dr. Saeb Erekat, is a superb loss for Palestine and our folks, and we’re deeply saddened,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stated Tuesday.

Erekat, who was educated in the USA and Britain, was born in Jerusalem and grew up within the West Financial institution. He earned his doctorate diploma in battle decision and lengthy advocated for a two-state answer to the Israeli-Palestinian battle primarily based on 1967 borders.

Erekat additionally served as secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Group’s govt committee, was a member of the Fatah Occasion Central Committee and a distinguished tutorial. Abbas referred to as him a “patriotic chief.”

“Dr. Saeb devoted his life to the service of the Palestinian folks and trigger,” govt committee member Hanan Ashrawi stated.

“Erekat will probably be remembered for his indefatigable and tireless dedication and dedication to attaining peace and freedom for the Palestinian folks.”

Erekat at occasions clashed with Palestinian leaders over negotiations with Israel. Some Israeli officers discovered Erekat uncompromising whereas some Palestinians criticized him for not delivering a Palestinian state.

“He was extraordinarily educated, with an unbelievable reminiscence,” Israeli senior negotiator Gilad Sher stated.

“He was not a easy negotiator [to deal with]. However I all the time believed that behind that lay the will to advance the Palestinians’ curiosity, and, sure, to come back to an settlement.”