Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO and chief Palestinian Authority negotiator, is currently hospitalized in serious condition at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. Erekat had a lung transfer a year ago, and has contracted COVID-19.
There is a great embarrassment in the PA following Erekat’s hospitalization because it is a step that requires civilian and security coordination with Israel and exposes the discrimination of senior PA officials over its residents, who are banned from seeking medical treatment in Israel.
In recent months, since PA head Mahmoud Abbas severed ties with Israel, patients in the Gaza Strip and the PA have found it difficult to receive medical treatment.
Journalists in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are settling scores with the Palestinian leadership, after the latter attacked the Gulf States in recent weeks following their normalization of relations with Israel, which they branded a “betrayal.”
UAE writers emphasized the “Palestinian hypocrisy and double standards” in seeking treatment in an Israeli hospital despite severing ties with the Jewish state.
Amjad Taha, an Arab researcher close to Saudi Arabia who lives in Britain and who recently suffered severe insults from the Palestinian Authority, tweeted that “the corruption in the Palestinian Authority that led to damage to the health system is what forced the Palestinians to hospitalize Erekat in an Israeli hospital.”
Other journalists called on the PA to condemn Erekat’s hospitalization in an Israeli hospital as it is considered a “normalization of relations,” which Erekat himself opposes.
One of the Gulf journalists called on Sheikh Akrama Tsabari, head of the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem, to condemn Erekat as he condemned the Emirates delegation that visited Jerusalem last weekend.
Others stated that “Erekat is not the only one in severe condition…the entire Palestinian issue is in intensive care.”
It should be noted that Erekat’s hospitalization is not the first evidence of the PA leadership’s coordination with Israel to satisfy their own personal needs. Recently, Jabril Rajoub went on a number of political trips in Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria with a Fatah delegation. Crossing through the Allenby Bridge into Jordan involves coordination with Israel.
“Has Saeb Erekat’s health become more important than the Palestinian issue?” asked an activist from the Emirates.
“Thanks to Allah that seeking treatment in Israeli hospitals is not considered a betrayal of the Palestinian issue,” he added cynically.
“It seems that Erekat does not trust the Palestinian doctors, who are his people, nor the hospitals in the PA,” another tweeted.