“Fatah mourns his great national son, Dr. Erect,” reads a social media post by his party Fatah.
On 18 October he was taken to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem in critical condition.
Erekat, one of the Palestinian politicians of the last few decades, was a major part of the negotiations between Palestinian officials and Israel during the intensive peace process negotiations in the 1990s.
He served as deputy head of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991, as the administration of President George HW Bush pushed for a resolution to the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict.
Erekat famously wore a black and white cafe, the Palestinian national symbol, which was seen as an act of contempt against Israel, which he refused to communicate with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The Israeli negotiating team in Madrid considered him a tough liner, whose appointment alone could stall the talks.
But the Israelis met him in constant and frequent negotiations. In the mid-1990s, when both sides tried to develop the Os Slow Accords, Ericket became the main Palestinian-Palestinian negotiator, a position he will hold until he passes.
He became a familiar face, with a familiar message on news broadcasts. Speaking to CNN in 2001, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, “Please, let’s stop scoring points, let’s stop pointing fingers. Let’s go to discretion, wisdom and courage and get back to the negotiating table soon. Come on. Without any circumstances, because at the end of the day, we have recognized the state of Israel’s existence. It is up to you to sit on the high ground and return to the negotiating table. ”
He earned the respect of some Israelis with whom he negotiated, including former Israeli diplomat and negotiator Elon Pinkas, who praised Erikat’s principles when questioning his ability to implement them. “Mr. Erect has been a man of peace, and I am a man of faith, and a man I can respect. That’s good news. The bad news is that Mr. Erect doesn’t call shots. He doesn’t make decisions.”
Born in Jerusalem and educated in the United States and the United Kingdom, Erickat became a member of the Fatah Party, and was close to its influential founder and leader, Yasher Arafat. From Oslo, he advocated direct negotiations towards a bipartisan settlement. Distrustful to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Erekat focused most of his criticism in later years on the man who would become Israel’s longest-serving leader.
After Netanyahu’s address to the United Nations General Assembly in 2018, Ericat said, “His speech denies Israel our right to exist, to live in freedom and to celebrate our national identity. What is the reality on the ground in occupied Palestine? A colonial-apartheid state … For the Israeli government, not only the issues of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees are on the table, but also the existence of Palestine. ”
Erekt believed that Netanyahu had no intention of making concessions necessary for the creation of an independent Palestinian Palestinian state, a position further strengthened by the arrival of President Donald Trump. The Trump administration’s plan for Middle East peace needed some concessions from the Israelis while demanding major concessions from Palestinians.
“What we hear about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, the issue of refugees, security, leaving borders, can’t be called a deal of the century,” Ericat told CNN’s Becky Anderson in January. “It’s the fraud and deception of the century.”
He added: “We have seen the worst game ever played in international relations. My future, my aspirations, my tomorrow, the time of my grandchildren – no one is trying to decide that without consulting me – because Netanyahu wants to win the election and he wants to win the election in 2020, he is the highest. Ridiculous chapter. ”
It was a difficult time for Erekat. Diplomats and journalists who met him in the early weeks of 2020 found him emotionally frustrated, reflecting a sense of personal failure, sometimes even close to tears as he tried to argue the Palestinian cause again.
Months later, when the UAE and Bahrain announced a major reversal of Arab policy, normalizing relations with Israel, despite the lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Erikat found himself and the PLO looking once more outside.
“The UAE and Bahrain are contributing to Trump’s presidential campaign at the expense of the incredible rights of the Palestinian people,” Erekat posted on his Twitter account.
And despite those challenges, Erdogan ended his ubiquitous presence in the international arena and in the media, insisting on the importance of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even though it seems to have slipped down the list of priorities. Western countries and the Arab world.
It was a mission with which he would vulnerably connect, despite the diminishing possibility of his imminent realization. But he never discriminated, seeing no other way for peace for millions of Israelis and Palestinians throughout the region.
Abir Salman of CNN contributed to this report.
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