Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Waiting For Lung Transplant In D.C.

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinians’ chief peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, is in Washington, D.C. waiting for a lung transplant.

Erekat, 62, who also is secretary-general of the PLO executive committee, has pulmonary fibrosis, a serious lung disease. He requires oxygen and can no longer walk.

On Palestinian national television on Thursday Erekat delivered a message to the Palestinian people.

“God has blessed us by making us Palestinians. We are soldiers for Palestine,” he said, Times of Israel reported.

“I want to tell everyone to be proud; I am proud of every year I spent as a soldier for Palestine. Know that Palestine’s independence is surely on its way. A Palestinian state in 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, this is coming; it is a historical imperative,” he also said.

Erekat was diagnosed about five years ago with the disease, in which scar tissue forms in the lungs and makes it impossible for them to function properly, including preventing the absorption of oxygen. He had been treated in an Israeli hospital, Ynet reported. His condition worsened dramatically in recent months, leading his Israeli doctors to tell him that he needs a lung transplant to survive.

He reportedly also was placed on a waiting list for a lung transplant in Israel but was too far down on the list to realistically receive an organ in time, since non-citizens come after Israeli citizens on the waiting list.

Erekat flew to the United States on the private jet of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.




    NY-12 Candidate Forum


    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.