Palestinian official Erekat undergoes bronchostomy

A medical professional in protective gear leaves the emergency department at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, where Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat is in critical condition with the coronavirus, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 21 October 2020

Palestinian official Erekat undergoes bronchostomy

  • Erekat has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past several decades, serving as a senior negotiator in talks with Israel
  • He was also a senior adviser to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the current president

JERUSALEM: A doctor treating Palestinian official Saeb Erekat for COVID-19 performed a bronchostomy on Wednesday to examine the condition of his respiratory system, his daughter said.
Salam Erekat said on Twitter that her father remained intubated and connected to an ECMO machine, which does the work of the lungs by transferring oxygen into blood.
She said it would take several days to get the results. “Hopefully things will take a better way. Pray for my father,” said Salam Erekat, who herself is a physician.
Erekat, 65, was transferred Sunday from the West Bank to Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center.
The hospital has said he is in critical but stable condition, and that its medical team is consulting with experts around the world to deal with the case. It says Erekat’s case is especially complicated given his history of health issues, including a lung transplant in 2017.
Erekat, 65, has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past several decades, serving as a senior negotiator in talks with Israel and making frequent media appearances. He was also a senior adviser to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and current President Mahmoud Abbas.


Tens of thousands of Sadr supporters pack Iraqi capital

Updated 37 min 17 sec ago

Tens of thousands of Sadr supporters pack Iraqi capital

  • Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, tens of thousands gathered shoulder-to-shoulder for noon Muslim prayers in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square
  • The Sadrist movement had called for protests to back the reform of what it says is Iraq’s corrupt state

BAGHDAD: Tens of thousands of supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr packed the streets of the Iraqi capital Friday in a show of force as preparations ramp up for June parliamentary elections.
Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, tens of thousands gathered shoulder-to-shoulder for noon Muslim prayers in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, spilling out into the surrounding streets.
The Sadrist movement had called for protests to back the reform of what it says is Iraq’s corrupt state, but its populist leader has also been making moves ahead of next year’s vote.
In a tweet this week, Sadr said he expected major wins for his party and would push for the next prime minister to be a member of the Sadrist movement for the first time.
Sadrists had already won big in the May 2018 vote with 54 of parliament’s 329 seats, granting him the biggest single bloc.
This summer, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhemi set June 2021 as the date for the next parliamentary elections — nearly a year ahead of schedule to fulfil a key demand of the youth-dominated protest movement that erupted across Iraq in October 2019.
They will take place under a new electoral law agreed by parliament that will see district sizes reduced and votes for individual candidates replacing list-based ballots.
Most observers expect a delay of at least a few months while political parties prepare the groundwork of their campaigns, but experts say the new system is likely to benefit Sadr and his candidates.
On Friday, Sadr supporters carried Iraq’s national tricolor and posters of the cleric, some of which evoked his past as a militia leader by depicting him in camouflage.
Volunteers dressed in light blue — the movement’s color — sprayed disinfectant from plastic tanks on their backs.
Sadr, who is very rarely seen in public, did not attend the rally.