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Palestinian official Erekat in critical, stable condition

JERUSALEM (AP) — Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat remained in critical but stable condition in an Israeli hospital Tuesday, his family said, after he was infected with the coronavirus.

Erekat’s family told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA that he was receiving artificial respiration in the intensive care unit at Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center.

Erekat, 65, has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past several decades, serving as a senior negotiator in talks with Israel. He was also a senior advisor to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and current President Mahmoud Abbas.

He was hospitalized Sunday at the Jerusalem hospital despite the Palestinian leadership’s decision earlier this year to sever ties with Israel over plans to begin annexing parts of the occupied West Bank as part of President Donald Trump’s Mideast plan.

The hospital said Monday that Erekat’s case was extremely challenging in light of his history of health problems, including a lung transplant in 2017. It said he suffered from a weak immune system, and a bacterial infection in addition to COVID-19.

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