MPPM expresses its sorrow for the passing away of Dr. Saeb Erekat

MPPM joins the Palestinian people in mourning the passing away of Dr. Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who, for over three decades, was a tireless spokesman for the Palestinian cause and one of its leading negotiators in international fora.

Saeb Erekat was 65 years old and passed away today, a victim of the Covid 19 infection he contracted a month ago.

Erekat was born in 1955 in the Palestinian village of Abu Dis in East Jerusalem. He was married to Niemeh Erekat and had two sons, two daughters and eight grandchildren.

He graduated from the University of San Francisco in the USA with a BA in International Relations in 1977 and a Masters in Political Science in 1979. He completed his Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Bradford in England in 1983. He is the author of eight books and numerous research articles on Middle East politics and conflict resolution.

After completing his doctorate, Erekat moved to the West Bank city of Nablus, where he was a professor of political science at the al-Najah National University. He was also on the editorial board of Al-Quds newspaper, the Palestinian daily with the largest circulation.

In 1991, he was appointed by Yasser Arafat as deputy head of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference – where he presented himself wearing the keffiyeh, the scarf symbolizing Palestinian nationalism – and went on to play a central role in the negotiations between the PLO and Israel in 1992 and 1993, which led to the signing of the Oslo Accords. He was deeply involved in all negotiations with Israel, including those at Camp David (2000) and Taba (2001).

In 1993, he was appointed Head of the Central Elections Commission that prepared the presidential and legislative elections. He resigned from his position to run for election in Jericho. He was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in 1996.

He was appointed head of the PLO Negotiations Department in 2005. He was the Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee since July 2015. He was also a member of the Fatah Central Committee.

For decades, Erekat has given a voice to the national cause of the Palestinian people, working tirelessly for the international recognition of their political rights and an end to the Israeli occupation.

MPPM honors Saeb Erekat's determination and hopes that his work will be completed with the establishment of a free, sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian State on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital and with a just solution to the problem of refugees.

November 10, 2020

The National Directorate of MPPM

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