Pictured: Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, Israel, where Erekat chose to be hospitalized and receive treatment. (Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images)

by Bassam Tawil
Gatestone Institute –
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat spent the past two decades calling for the boycott and isolation of Israel. In the past few months, Erekat, a PLO leader who previously headed the Palestinian negotiating team with Israel, came out against the agreements to normalize relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

He and other Palestinian leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, accused the UAE and Bahrain of betraying the Palestinians and stabbing them in the back by making peace with Israel.

On October 8, Erekat announced that he had been infected with COVID-19. A few days later, as his condition seemed to worsen, Erekat was rushed from his home in the West Bank city of Jericho to an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem: Hadassah Ein Kerem. An Israeli ambulance guarded by Israeli soldiers transferred Erekat to the Israeli hospital at the request of his family and the Palestinian Authority leadership.

The man who worked tirelessly to harm and slander Israel and who condemned Arabs for establishing relations with Israel in the end chose to seek medical treatment in a hospital belonging to the same state he has spent much of his life demonizing.

When he announced that he had been infected with COVID-19, Erekat received an offer from Jordan’s King Abdullah to receive medical treatment in the kingdom. Expressing gratitude to the Jordanian monarch, Erekat did not take up him up on the offer.

Instead, when his health deteriorated, Erekat, along with his family and the PA leadership, ran to Israel for help. Israel responded by immediately dispatching Israeli medics and soldiers to Jericho to evacuate Erekat to Hadassah Hospital, where Israeli doctors worked to save his life.

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